Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Setting March Goals

Crazy Class Project Challenge:
Resume stitching on the next class project: Phyllis Mauer's Japanese Kogin Tea Cozy. Actually resumed stitching on this piece already, on 2/26.
2010/11 WIPs:
Resume work on Jacobean Elegance Afghan and Primitive Needle's Black'd Skie. I'll be working these two in tandem since the afghan is clearly too large to travel. Both qualify as BAPs and will probably remain on my monthly goals list for many months. So my actual goal will be to stitch 4 more blocks on the afghan and to complete Block 2 of Black'd Skie. I was able to return to these two projects on 2/20, having met my WIP goal early last month.

2012 Start: Earned by finishing the Holly & Hearts Sampler from the Class project list and Workbasket's Quaker Sampler from the 2010-11 WIP list: small mystery gift promised to Jo as December 2011 giveaway winner. I earned another 2012 start with a finish of Tracery Dragons from the WIP list and the Holly & Hearts Christmas ornament. Next up is the Teresa Wentzler's Woodland Angel Christmas Stocking which, I suspect, will keep me occupied for the remainder of the year. As a result, all other new starts earned will have to be small exchanges and ornaments.

TSS Scissor Keep Exchange: start and finish and mail by April deadline. For reasons I cannot explain even to myself, I am not counting this as a "new start". My internal logic [or, illogic, if you will] clearly designates exchanges as exempt from the new start rule.

Sewing and Assembly Finishes: Two pillows.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Assessing February Goals


Crazy Class Project Challenge: Finish The Sweetheart Tree's Holly & Hearts Sampler and resume work on the ornament. DONE, both pieces stitched: the sampler on 2/21 and the ornament on 2/26. 2010/11

WIPs: Finish Teresa Wentzler's Tracery Dragons. DONE: this finish was celebrated on 2/18 .

2012 New Start: Earned when both Workbasket's Quaker Sampler and The Sweetheart Tree's Holly & Hearts Sampler were completed: the gift promised Jo as the winner of my last 2011 monthly giveaway. Kitted and started.
Sewing and Assembly Finish:
Town Square SAL Star Theatre ornament and CEC Mitten ornament. I am so annoyed. When I went to zig-zag the edges of the fabric for these ornaments I discovered that I can't turn on my sewing machine. It is an old model that had the on/off switch on a little hand pad attached to the electric cord/plug. When I had the machine cleaned and serviced last, the repairman replaced the old cord but neglected to re-attach the on/off pad. Hence I have a machine that can't be turned on!


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Weekend Progress Report: February 26, 2012

I am moving right along on my monthly goals: I have finished stitching The Sweetheart Tree's Holly and Hearts Christmas Ornament. I had forgotten that way back in 2008, in an uncharacteristic spurt of foresight, I prepared the padded backboards for this flat ornament. So now that the stitching is done, the assembly will be a snap. I have two more ornaments to assemble in addition to this one tomorrow. Once all the ornaments are finish finished, it will leave only one of my monthly goals to fit into the last few days of the month: all I have to do is start [yes, just start] the small gift I need to stitch for my December 2011 giveaway. I promised Jo she would have it sometime in March. I guess I finally figured out just how much I can reasonably expect to accomplish within a given time frame. Now let's see if I can manage to plan March's stitching with equal accuracy. I actually resumed work on one of them tonight, from the Class Project List: Phyllis Mauer's Japanese Kogin Tea Cozy.

On another topic: I chose the winner for my Holly & Heart Sampler chart giveaway. The first two names selected by the randomizer did not yield either an e-mail address or an active personal blog link when I clicked on the names ... so with no way to make contact with those individuals, I moved on to choose Kim. I can understand not wanting to post an e-mail address on a stranger's blog but a person's profile should lead to a way to contact them. I have used comments on a person's blog to inform people of wins before, so it doesn't always have to be e-mail, if an individual wishes that to remain private. Ultimately, it boils down to this: if you want to win a giveaway [at least, one at Oubliette], you have to make yourself reasonably accessible to contact. I am persistent but I am not a psychic!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Holly & Hearts Ornament

Here is a shot of my current progress on my ornament. As I have mentioned in several recent posts I have really enjoyed working on Sandy's Holly & Heart designs: who wouldn't love the delicacy and elegance that are so very much a part of her style? I have given some thought to how I might want to finish the Sampler: certainly it is a piece worthy of professional framing but I have been wondering about a bell pull finish. I think I am going to have to do some on-line investigating of bell pull hardware. If I can find something the right size and style, that might be the way to go. I still have some stitching and all the beading to do on the ornament. But I am happy with my current progress, especially when you consider I have had very little time to devote to stitching in the past day or two. I look forward to the beading stage of the project because I have to admit I love the bling of the beading. I do believe beads can add so very much to many types of projects. Teresa Wentzler borders spring to mind and the more formal sorts of Christmas ornaments and seasonally themed bellpulls. Perhaps because I love fantasy themed projects that just seem to lend themselves to beading, I have acquired quite a stash of these tiny treasures. And there are always a few beads left over after every project that can then be incorporated into ornaments of all kinds. I have also acquired a stash of jewelry size beads and crystals and charms in the hopes of eventually learning how to make scissor fobs.

And the reason I haven't devoted much time to stitching: J.D. Robbs latest entry [the 38th] in the "... in Death" series arrived at the house in Wednesday's mail. Of course I had to start reading Celebrity in Death immediately. It is as interesting as all the others, a bit better than some and a bit less so than others. I guess it's rather like a long-running TV series: if the characters are well-drawn and likeable, the storyline can run on indefinitely.

And, to change the subject yet again, there were 314 hits on the 2/22 post. I have never had that many hits on a single post. The highest I have had previously is about 180. I am wondering if this was the accidental consequence of a key word search or whether my recent joining of the TSS group is bringing more visitors to the blog. Another possibility is that it was The Sweetheart Tree design that sparked so much interest. Who knows!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Shrove Tuesday is a thing of the past

I feel nostalgia for those good old days when I could have done the traditional indulgent eating on the day before Lent began: pancakes with syrup, bacon, desserts, candy. But age and type II diabetes have made that impossible. So yesterday seemed like Lent had already started: oatmeal for breakfast, half a veggie wrap for lunch, soup for supper. But at least the stitching was sumptuous: The Sweetheart Tree's Holly and Hearts Sampler's specialty stitches and beading. Rhodes Hearts and Stars, the Amadeus stitch, and lovely pearl and garnet beading! And the result of all that sumptuousness: another finish, the first from the class project list. My next class project, the matching Holly & Hearts ornament, should go relatively quickly since I am already in the rhythm of the design elements in these two pieces. I am really enjoying the specialty stitches and the tracery stitching. The projects are just so lovely and delicate and elegant. It's one of the reasons I really enjoy working with The Sweetheart Tree charts. I have several more in my stash and look forward to stitching them as well. I anticipate a second finish from the class project list before the end of the month. I also got in a bit of stitching on my next [March goal] project from the WIP list, Primitive Needle's Black'd Skie, during my lunch hour. All in all, I feel pretty good about my progress on the February goals.

I'll be sharing my pleasure in this design by offering a PIF of the chart. Just leave a comment on this post. I'll choose a winner on Sunday.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Stitching on Goal

Monday afternoon, I resumed frogging and stitching on my Holly and Hearts Sampler. I managed to complete all but a tiny bit of the bottom row of tracery ... just a bit of the upper right corner of the row needs stitching. The first photo shows progress made on Monday and the second photo shows progress made on Tuesday morning. It is my habit to start my day on a relaxed note with an hour of stitching before getting ready for work. I am almost done with the beading. Then, it will just be a matter of completing the three specialty stitches and, voila, my first class project finish for the year! I am hoping to finish this piece by Wednesday.

I have also enrolled in a Scissor/Scissor Keep exchange and have been checking out the scissors available at 123stitch and The Silver Needle. I have a $45 gc from 123stitch coming my way in payment for a chart I sold and I am planning on buying fabric for a band sampler [from SANQ] that I wish to stitch and perhaps the scissors, as well. But first, I'll have to check the Stitchery Row website. So far, The Silver Needle seems to have the most interesting collection of scissors though some of their more appealing selections are way above the suggested price range. It seems only sensible to buy the scissors first so that I might then design a scissor keep the right size and with an appropriate theme and colorway. Most of the participants seem to like dragon designs, clearly not a hardship for me to stitch given my abiding love for dragons. I already have a few ideas in mind but shall wait to finalize them once I have been matched with a partner.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Hermitting this President's Day Weekend ...

Stitching has been my first priority this three-day holiday weekend. Second priority was to catch up with the laundry, ironing, shopping and house-keeping. And the third and final priority was to get a bit ahead in the cooking department, freezing some healthy meals that I could heat up after my twice a week, 12 hour work days instead of ordering the take-out that sends my sugar numbers and my blood pressure sky-rocketing. Since Saturday was a bit chilly and my husband never feels the cold quite as much as I do, I stitched on my Jacobean Elegance afghan, on and off, during the day. Having the bulk of the afghan covering my lap and legs makes for very cozy stitching. On Sunday, I continued working on the afghan and finished the first "bud" block except for the back-stitched outline. This is an old Cross Stitch Sampler magazine chart designed by Lori Birmingham. Now, I have met Lori and taken classes with her at several CATS back in the day and this chart just doesn't look like what I accustomed to thinking of as her style. But I am really enjoying it anyway ... with my usual few quibbles, of course: it calls for skipping blocks between the flower and bud blocks but that gives it a very off-balance sort of look, to my way of thinking. So I shall be filling in every block simply alternating flower and bud in each row, across and down. I finished the block this morning. Later today, I'll make up a list of flosses I still need to purchase now that I have essentially doubled the stitching. I won't have to double it exactly since I am using 4 strands rather than the recommended 6 strands, which looked way too bulky to my eye.

I have to confess though, that chill in the air notwithstanding, the real reason I chose to pick up this project instead of my current class piece is: I have been avoiding working on The Sweetheart Tree's Holly & Hearts Sampler. It is always demoralizing when the first thing you have to do when picking up a piece after a hiatus is FROG. But that is the case here. Yes, I know the symmetry of the tracery band was off by only two threads but it would have bothered me to the point of ripping the finished piece off the wall and smashing the frame if I had left it uncorrected. So, I am a little obssessive about my stitching - what real stitcher isn't? The problem with frogging is that one doesn't have a progress photo to show, no forward progress having been made. Maybe in a few days time. I'll spend the later part of today on Holly and Hearts, but it probably won't accompany me to work on Tuesday. Since this piece is on scroll rods, it is not as portable as a piece I place in my spring loaded hoop. At least, it is a very tight fit in the zippered case I am currently using as a stitching bag. I'll have to switch the bag out for something a bit larger until I am finished with this piece or I will have to remove all the other "pending" pieces that I carry around in my current stitching bag. Since I really do want to take advantage of lunch hour stitching time to work on this sampler, making it portable is a priority. The plan is to finish the sampler this week and still have time to work on the matching ornament for the remainder of the month. As a chronic sufferer of StADD [Stitcher's Attention Deficit Disorder], I am already jonesing to resume work on Phyllis Mauer's Japanese Kogin Tea Cozy. It's also in the stitching bag and it keeps calling my name quite loudly and insistently. But I am determined to work through my class projects in a semi-orderly fashion, actually finishing one [in all its parts] before moving on to another.

At the end of 2012, I want to be able to say that I have caught up with my stitching self and haven't a single unfinished class project and only a very few [less than 5] WIPs in hand. We shall see how that works. Then in 2013, I shall be free to concentrate on sewing finishes though I shall be trying to do two a month this year. I will probably have to invest in a new sewing machine before doing so. One of my sewing machines was a gift from my mother back in 1971 [college graduation - talk about mixed messages, a domestic gift for an aspiring professional] and the other was a hand-me-down from my kid sister and is approximately 30 years old. I do believe I have run both of these machines into the ground. I no longer wish to invest in repairs when I should be coming up with replacement costs. I just dislike the thought of learning a new machine. I have flirted with the thought of buying a Bernina but they cost the earth and I don't do enough quilting to justify that expenditure. I suspect I will go with a Singer or a Kenmore. It's off to Consumer's Guide to check out my options.

And, on an entirely different topic: using the extraordinarily scientific and precise method of asking my husband to select a number between one and six, I have chosen Melissa J as the winner of the Tracery Dragons chart. I will e-mail her before I log off this morning.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Today, I Dance.

Not counting the tiny bit of stitching in January that qualified Tracery Dragons as a 2011 Crazy Challenge piece, serious stitching on the piece began on June 3, 2011. There were times when I thought this project would go on for all eternity. There was the time I put it aside for three full months because I just couldn't face one more blended needle or one more string of quarter stitches. There was the time I threatened to make a Teresa Wentzler voodoo doll and stick it with all those blended needles! There was the day I admitted that including this chart in the Crazy Challenge was clearly a tortured stitcher's exercise in self-sabotage. There was the day I decided that Baudelaire's Fleur du Mal was actually the correct description of a TW rose. But that is the past. Today, I post a photo of my Tracery Dragons finish. Today, I dance. In solemn and stately measure, somewhat stiffly, rather like one of Martha Graham's final performances. No manic happy dance is this but rather serious, slow, serpentine steps in celebration of an eight month's journey with the Dragons.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Still Dragooning the Dragons

As I said in a previous post, I tend to overestimate what I can accomplish in any given time frame. Hubris led me to believe I'd be posting a finish photo today. I even wrote a draft post to that effect, which I have since post-dated to week's end. The truth is I haven't even finished the cross-stitching [two leaves are left to stitch], let alone the back-stitching and specialty stitching. So, here is a WIP photo rather than a finish photo. Maybe, just maybe, tomorrow will produce a finish photo!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Weekend Progress Report: February 12, 2012

I spent most of the weekend [and, indeed, most of the week] virtuously working on Tracery Dragons in keeping with my stated annual and monthly goals to work on old class projects and WIPs from the last two years. After last week's deviation into the immediate gratification of a scissor fob and two bookmarks, I thought it best to get back on track before I completely lost my shreds of self-discipline and reverted to the old habits that left me with over a dozen half-finished class projects and six or seven WIPs, in the first place. I refuse to call my WIPs UFOs since I know exactly what they are and I have been working on them continuously, really I have! As you can see from this photo of my dragon, I am closing in on a finish ... with less than a quarter of a page of cross-stitching and back-stitching to go. And then the specialty stitching of the dragon's mane and the rose stems will complete the project. That will make two finishes from the WIP list so far this year but none as yet from the Class Project Challenge List. I will have to get back to working on the Holly and Hearts Sampler very soon. What I am finding quite confusing about all this is how much easier and more quickly stitching on the dragon is going this time around. It took me June, July, August, September, October and the better part of November to accomplish roughly the same amount of stitching I have managed so far this year: six months as compared to six weeks. And, the motifs that were sheer torture in 2011 [the roses] were a breeze to stitch in 2012. Go figure!

I'd like PIF this chart once I am done with it. If you would like to have it, just leave a comment below.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Last Night

As anyone who read yesterday's post knows, I was in a funk most of Friday. But the day ended on a high note with my daughter's birthday celebration. We went to a really cozy little vegan restaurant in Nyack called Main Essentials. The food was excellent and served with such genuine good will by the dread-locked staff [it's a Rastafarian establishment] that if you closed your eyes and ignored the modest furnishings and cold NY temperatures, you might have been in one of those tony Bahamian resorts where the staff just about trips over themselves in an effort to please. Talk about island hospitality! I wish I had brought my camera. I would have taken photos of the steam table selections which included a lovely basamati rice, a bean stew, kale, mock chicken, empanadas, fried plantains and what my sister-in-law kept calling faux beouf. All of the mock meats were soy-based, of course, but the textures and tastes were amazingly real. I had rice with beans, some of the faux beouf stir fry, the plantains and the kale. Though not usually a fan of kale, this was scrumptious and not the least bit bitter. Those who had the chicken found it equally good. For my less adventurous husband, there was a Boca burger. There was also a soup available but none of us indulged. The place is also famous for its custom blended juices and fruit smoothies: my sister-in-law had a pineapple and canteloupe melon juice blend and my husband had the Caribbean Breeze smoothie made of bananas, berries, mango, pineapple and soy milk. And both my son and my husband enjoyed a ginger beer that had just enough burn to be very smooth. My daughter enjoyed her presents. We got her a delicate marcasite necklace and a small sculpture of a wolf by a native American artist. I also bought her some tubs of frozen cookie dough: two for her dogs in peanut butter and cheese & oats flavors and two chocolate chip for herself that are casein and gluten free with vegetable and fruit purees added for extra oomph. Not everybody's cup of tea ... but hey, she's vegan and she likes that sort of thing. So, all in all, the day ended well even if it began inauspiciously.

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Day Off

It all started with a stress test ... a fiendish medical examination designed to demoralize and humiliate those of us carrying enough excess weight to create a twelve year old child ... and a tall, muscular twelve year old child, at that. Wearing a paper shirt that would expose Twiggy's midruff and struggling to remain upright on the treadmill while it seems the entire office staff [okay, only the tech, the nurse and the doctor, but it seems like a crowd] gathers in the mistaken belief that you are encouraged by their cheers ... not my idea of a dignified way to spend a morning. And the day just went downhill from there. What can I say! Electricians not keeping appointments for the second week in a row. Long lines at the post office and the bank. I shudder to think what things will be like when the Postal Service makes good its threats to cut back hours and services. When the high point of your day is crossing off from your list of chores "make appointments for a full range of eye examinations, to have a colonoscopy and to see the podiatrist about diabetic foot issues", you know you just need to get some kind of a life. And it is supposed to snow tomorrow with sub-zero temperatures. Well, between now and then, our family will be gathering at a vegetarian restaurant to celebrate my eldest child's 35th birthday. And that's another thing, how the hell did I get to be old enough to have a 35 year old child? Fate plays cruel tricks. One day you are slender, young and vibrant, with waist-length hair the Clairol ladies would envy ... and the next you require undergarments that are major feats of engineering, gravity is your enemy and even your hair, once thick and lush, is thinning to the point that comb overs may be the wave of the future.The one thing I console myself with is that I have selected some really great gifts for my daughter's birthday. I know she will love them and I will get an extraordinary amount of pleasure watching her open her gifts.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

I have been moving along on Tracery Dragons this week, to the total exclusion of all other stitching, with this result. As I have said many times, I am normally a rotation stitcher ... which is really a polite way of saying my limited attention span requires a selection of five to ten projects from which to choose at any given moment. In fact, if you looked in my current stitching tote you would find seven projects in various stages of completion and there are two more nearly finished projects sitting near my stitching chair awaiting some quality time. My self-imposed challenges to complete class projects and one & two year old WIPs have taken me out of that comfort zone of rotation stitching. In fact, this year, I am becoming more than a bit compulsive, craving finishes and working single-mindedly toward that goal. That sounds grim but it isn't really! I can honestly say that in nearly 40 years of stitching, I have committed to only three or four duty stitches, and none in the past several years. Everything else has been chosen because I am genuinely attracted by the the concept or the process or the finished design. All good reasons to stitch. Furthermore, I am a list-maker and I just love, love, love crossing completed tasks off a to-do list ... at home, at work, and apparently, at play. So, I am looking forward to crossing Tracery Dragons off the list of 2010-2011 WIPs awaiting completion. Maybe by month's end!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Riona's Book Nook

I was very flattered by a comment asking me to share the chart for Riona's Book Nook but have to confess that I don't have a chart to share. At least, not a whole chart. I tend to use this design to use up odds and ends of floss. I have charted two or three different designs for the top and bottom of the bookcase, and I vary the number of shelves depending on the length of the scrap of linen I am using. I have charted the leaning books, mainly because I don't like having to plot it out in my head each time I stitch a bookmark. And I have charted a number of different knick-knacks and curios. I vary the number and width of books on a shelf each time I stitch this design, the colors are always different depending on what I have on hand at any given moment. I decorate the spines of the books differently each time as well, depending on my whim. So, ultimately, any bookcase bookmark I stitch is actually a mix and match affair of different elements chosen from a "library" of motifs [charted haphazardly, by hand, on a sheet of graph paper or existing only in my imagination]. I suppose I could reverse engineer a chart by working backwards from a finished piece but the reason these bookmarks are so much fun to stitch is that they are pretty much spontaneous, free-style stitching. I am reasonably certain that any experienced stitcher could duplicate my process just by working from my WIP photo. It is really a very simple project.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tuesday Tittle Tattle

It's hard to keep coming up with interesting post titles, so excuse me if I scraped the bottom of the barrel on this one. I started blogging back in August 2007. Over the course of four and a half years of blogging, creativity and cleverness tends to ebb and flow. But, silly title notwithstanding, I am back to work on my stated goals for the month. I put away my bookmark for the moment. I may try and finish it up over the weekend if I have made satisfactory progress on Tracery Dragons. I'd forgotten that I had made a "fixable" mistake on page two of the design that meant I'd have to shift a few of the design elements on page one two threads to the right and so had to do a very little bit of frogging but I am back on track now. I have nearly finished the dragon on the left and just need to fill in a few small blank spots before finishing the backstitching of the left half of page one. That's noy enough progress for a photo just yet but maybe in a day or two. By next week, I should be well into completing the right half of page one ... or maybe not, after all there are two roses on that half of the page ... and the roses are killers comprised of small groups of 2 or 3 cross stitches flanked by quarter stitches in at least 10 different blended needles. Nevertheless, I am beginning to feel hopeful that this piece will finally be stitched and ready for the framer by the end of the month. Whether the Holly and Hearts Sampler will also be complete is another question entirely! Tracery Dragons may consume all my stitching time for the remainder of this month, leaving nothing left for the sampler. Losing last week to uncomplicated stitching, which is at least better than no stitching at all, put a crimp in my progress towards goal.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Weekend Progress Report: February 5, 2012

This has been what I hope will be an atypical week. Due to short staffing and just general madness at work, I have been a little too stressed to concentrate on my goal projects. Instead, I went for simpler and less ambitious stitching: bookmarks and a tiny scissor fob. At midweek, I finished a lovely Celtic Bookmark from Dinky Dyes, though I totally changed the colorway. Then I stitched a dainty little chart from CEC called Tiny Basket. I love pansies and just couldn't resist this darling little Spring scissor fob. Next, I finished up the week by stitching another bookmark, this one of my own design, Riona's Book Nook: a bookcase with lots of interesting little details - a spider plant, a kitten staring down from one of the shelves, a small geode tucked in the corner of a shelf, an antique bottle. Can you guess what you might find on my book shelves? Well, all those things and more, except the kitten. I am allergic to cat dander. But somehow, adding the kitten to the bookcase seemed to make it look nice and homey. All I have left to do on this bookmark is the geode [yet to be drawn and charted], the back-stitching and the specialty stitching of which the spider plant will be made [some modified lazy daisy stitches, some long stitches and some star eyelet stitches]. It is amazing how much detail one can pack into a space less than two inches wide by seven inches high. The upcoming week should be better. My program assistant will be back from her two week sick leave. First Confession and the Confirmation interviews are behinds us. The stress levels should recede just enough to let me get back to the Holly and Hearts Sampler and the Tracery Dragons. I hope to have both these pieces finished by month's end. And, though I really do want to limit new starts to small quickly finished items, temptation comes in the form of the latest issue of Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly. This issue includes Part I of a lovely band sampler that I absolutely must start. The story of my life: too many intriguing charts, too little stitching time!

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Plans of Mice and Men ...

... and stitchers, Gang aft agley. With apologies to Robert Burns, the plan to earn new starts with finishes of old pieces has already gang agley. When I came home from work last night, I couldn't face either of the two challenge pieces in my rotation. So I started this little Celtic bookmark on a scrap of raw linen fabric with a very mixed bag of fibers. The chart is from Dinky Dyes and the recommended fibers are, as you might expect, Dinky Dye flosses. But since I have very little Dinky Dye floss in my stash and didn't like the suggested colorway of green, yellow and purple anyway, I substituted my own colorway of olive green, cream, and rose/brown: Caron Wildflowers Camouflage, Threadworx 1069 and some very old Needle Necessities that has long since been separated from its identifying sleeve. The Needle Necessities floss is a very nearly perfect lighter version of the Wildflowers and the Threadworx picks up the green tone in both the other fibers. Three different manufacturers but a perfect blending of tones and tints! I picked out some appropriate DMC floss for the back-stitching. The end result is this simple but elegant little bookmark. As new starts go, this wasn't a terrible deviation from my plan ... quickly worked up and not a continuing distraction from my class project and UFO challenges. But stash diving through my scraps of linen started me down a slippery slope. I found another piece of natural linen that was just perfect for this CEC Tiny Basket chart and I am stitching it up with odds and ends of floss left over from other projects. And during all this browsing through stitching detritus, I found a small project bag with another bookmark WIP, this one of my own design: a bookcase. I guess I just wasn't cut out for doing ONLY large projects for an entire year ... I couldn't even make it into the second month. I appear to need the satisfaction of a couple of finishes a month, however small.