Monday, August 27, 2007


Ever since May, I have been setting stitchery goals for myself ... at first, they were wildly optimistic goals but I am learning what I can and can not do ever so slowly. My goals are getting more reasonable and attainable as each month passes. I have been trying to do at least one freebie, one bookmark and one ornament a month while working on larger projects. I usually end up working the freebies into gift totes or pillows for friends and relatives or a door banner or stand up for my office at school. I am accumulating bookmarks to give as end-of-year gifts to my 55 catechists ... several years ago, I gave all of the catechists a Christmas ornament and I figured a bookmark would be another doable sort of gift for so many. The current ornaments are to be used as package trim on the Christmas gifts I give my family. As to the other goals, I am trying to work systematically through all the larger projects in my stash ... I have been somewhat extravagant with my purchases in the past two years and have vowed to purchase only fabric and floss until I have made a serious dent in the charts filling two bureau drawers. I've gone three months without buying a chart but I will, of course, buy the annual JCS Christmas ornament issue. But other than that I have been exercising restraint. Even if I never bought another chart again, I probably have about 4 years worth of stitching in my stash. That seems somewhat irresponsible when there are people on this planet wondering where their next meal is coming from ... so restraint is the order of the day ... and maybe some of that "stash" money can be used in a more responsible and charitable fashion

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Duty Call

Survived the duty call ... and yes, it was just as bad as I had anticipated. Cigarette smoke everywhere, potbellied men lifting their t-shirts to display imaginary washboard abs, much too much alcohol flowing about, one woman dressed in tight shorts displaying muffin tops below an extremely abbreviated blouse ... the whole ensemble set off with open-toed 3 inch spiked heels in fire-engine red ... might as well have been in a red light district for all the skin on display. And she was one of the more conservative dressers. I suppose I am a terrible snob but I do believe in dressing to suit one's body type and one's age and I am inclined to think less of people who don't exercise common sense in choosing a wardrobe. Ah well, at least, I won't have to repeat the experience for another year.
On the way to the barbecue, stopped in at Michael's looking for some fiber-fill and pillow forms ... only to discover they no longer carry these items ... but did manage to pick up some adhesive backed felt to line a lidded basket and some fabric glue ... all items on my list ... and, on impulse, picked up another stitchable bib for the new grandson. I'll probably have to brave the Palisades Center Mall to get the fiber fill and the pillow forms as well as some fusible interfacing and braided cord trim that I need. It's probably not the best weekend to head for the ugliest mall in America with school starting so soon. However, I wasn't able to find a decent selection at JoAnn's on- line. You'd think the on-line selections would be greater than those in the actual brick and mortar store but such is not the case.
And I really do want to continue my finishing marathon as per my stated goals for August. So far I have managed to finish the Dragon Dreams April Fool freebie and the "123-ers stitch it best" freebie as pins; to stitch the Dragon Dreams Morning and Evening Dragon as two sides of a gift tote small enough to double as a nursery door knob decoration for my grandson, to sew and stuff LaDeDa's Cardinal Christmas ornament, to finish Rainbow Gallery's Victorian & Japanese Ladies as a scissor case and a scissor fob, and to finish Brightneedle's Plant A Garden freebie as a large gift tote, and to affix the braided trim to a stocking I made for my son two years ago. I've got Waxing Moon' Best Witches nearly finished as a stand-up ... just need to make some braided cord to trim it with. But I still have a whole bunch of finished stitchery in the pipeline awaiting attention: Stitching the Night Away's Modern Art Goddess [wall hanging], the 4 Little House Needleworks Seasons of ... series [pillows], 2 Homespun Elegance Pedastal Pincushions, 4 Prairie Schooler Halloween designs [wall quilt], Dragon Dreams Elemental Dragons freebies [bellpull], CATS 2005 Stitching Dinner Samplers [a crochet needle book for my Mom and a Stitching accessories book for me] 3 Passione Ricamo Halloween designs and Cross-Eyed Cricket's Raven [wall quilt], Liz Turner Diehl's Autumn Pillow Band from CATS 2006 [bell pull], Waxing Moon's Checkerboard Pumpkin [Trick or Treat Bag] Cross-Eyed Cricket's Hat in a Cat [Halloween Doorstop Stand-up] JCS Christmas Annual Strawberry Needle Emery [Christmas Ornament] and one of the biscornus that I have been stitching up so quickly. That makes a grand total of 17 items awaiting attention ... thus the need to head on down to JoAnn's for fabric and interfacing and trim and fiberfill and pillow forms and ... so on and so on ...

Saturday, August 25, 2007

To biscornu or not to biscornu

Finally, I have been caught up in the latest stitching fad. I admit I have found these irregular little cushions somewhat intimidating until now. But yesterday, I found a marvelous article explaining the whole process complete with crystal clear step-by-step photos
The photos, in particular, have taken the fear out of the whole process. The same site also contains a library of biscornu charts from which I selected my four favorites: a four pointed star, four framed cats, a leaf and flower motif and an algerian geometric design.

Abandoning all my current WIPs and August stitching goals in favor of this latest enthusiasm, I dove into my fabric scrap bag and came up with several pieces of natural 28ct linen, a piece of natural 35 ct linen and a piece of mushroom 25ct Laguna. Then, it was on to the button jars to select 4 copper buttons to be used with the star and cats which I decided to stitch as autumn & Halloween pieces using a Needle Necessities variegated cotton floss in amber, gold, orange and brown and, for the cats, GAST Soot. The buttons I selected for the flower and leaf motif were silver buttons etched with a solar disc accompanied YLI silks in various greens, browns and creams. I haven't made any decisions for the Algerian design yet. I have already stitched both front and back of the star and the front of the cat design. It is my plan to stitch all the fronts and backs and then iron the seam allowances and do the finishing ladder stitching in an assembly line fashion.
But, alas, I must set aside these plans for the rest of the day. One of those dreary duty social calls is scheduled ... the annual end-of-summer barbecue at the home of one of my husband's colleagues from work. I am not a social butterfly at the best of times ... but 90 degree temps coupled with loud, vulgar strangers who drink and smoke excessively just can't describe my ideal Saturday afternoon. I will get through this by reminding myself of how manfully my husband has attended command performances at the parish where I work: Golf Outings, Parish Picnics, Theater Outings, etc. There is also the fact that I have negotiated him down to a three hour limit for our visit. But, the best motivating force is the sure and certain knowledge that NEXT Saturday will be spent on Broadway watching David Hyde Pierce perform in Curtains. One can put up with a great deal when one has such promised pleasures in one's immediate future.
I'll continue work on the biscornus tomorrow.

Friday, August 24, 2007

To begin

Friday, August 24, 2007
I have been reading stitchery blogs for over two years now and have always kept a stitching journal using those lovely little books one buys at Barnes and Noble ... so it seems logical to take the next step and journal in a blog. What to do first? Obviously, choose a name. My favorite word ... yes, I am one of those strange beings who has a favorite word: I am a literature major with a passion for language ... is a French one: oubliette. An oubliette, for all it's mellifluous sound, is actually a quite frightful thing. It is the deepest hole in the deepest dungeon. If one was consigned to an oubliette in the Bastille it meant that one was a "forgotten person". I could ramble on about how my work will live after me thus preventing me from becoming a forgotten person, etc. etc. ... but the simple truth is I love the sound of the word without any reference to its dark meaning. So this blog shall be my oubliette.