Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mystic Stitcher's Hideaway

It was a fantastic experience ... This was a whole new venue for me ... small [about 30 stitchers] and intimate, with approximately 15 hours devoted to stitching one project, having the time to actually learn and practice a new skill and actually getting to a point where the project is at least half done. In the past I have gone to two CATS events with it's one or two hour classes where one merely sees a stitch or technique demonstrated and, at best, gets to stitch it once or twice on a doodle cloth before moving on to the next class. The end result is that two years later, I have still completed only half the CATS projects from 2005 and 2006. But I am literally itching to finish my hardanger pocket and get started on the other pieces in the kit: a tuffet with lots of hardanger, a scissor case and fob, and two needlebooks. I actually learned how to do hardanger weaves, wraps, dove eyes, Grecian Crosses, Kloster blocks and blanket stitches ... and was able to cut my threads successfully ... a minor miracle, so far as I am concerned. Okay, so I had to go and wash my hands immediately after the cutting ... talk about sweaty palms ... but it worked and it actually looks presentable. Thea Dueck was a fantastic teacher: the epitome of clarity and patience. I would take another class with her should the opportunity present itself. And I will definitely want to go on another Stitcher's Hideaway ... meeting stitchers, enjoying the project, eating some very nicely catered meals ... it was all a very lovely break from the end-of-year madness at work.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Off to Mystic Stitcher's Hideaway

My husband and are packing ... we leave today at noon for Mystic Ct where I will be attending the Stitcher's Hideaway and he will wander the seaport meeting up with me [and the other stitchers and their tag alongs] for meals. I am looking forward to this and have been working diligently on the pre-work for the past two days. I am the sort who always works to deadline - I turned in my bachelor's thesis the day before my wedding. That was 37 years ago and I am still a down to the wire kind of person ... it's not that I procrastinate, it's just that I take on more than is reasonable and then juggle everything till it all works ... or crashes about my head. Most of the time it works.

Anyway, this time, at least, I probably should have started the pre-work earlier. The whole reason I signed up for this class was to learn hardanger. So what do you think the assigned pre-work is? That's right: all the Kloster blocks and blanket stitching on the pocket and, time permitting, the Kloster blocks on the tuffet pin cushion. So it is all very slow going ... very paranoid stitching ... stitch, count, stitch, recount, stitch, count yet again, frog, stitch, count, frog, count, stitch, re-count, pray, curse effusively and creatively, stitch ... well, you get the idea. But the finished project will be worth it ... a whole set of Thea Dueck [Victoria's Sampler] stitching accesories ... the design references the locale with all sorts of 19th century tall ships, ladies, lighthouses, etc.

I am looking forward to this immensely ... partly because I will be meeting some people I "know" only through stitchery message boards, partly because I will enjoy the project/classes/teacher, and partly because my professional life has been a mad whirl since mid September and will not let up till January ... so this provides a much needed break halfway through the career-related insanity.

Shall report on the hideaway upon my return.

Monday, November 5, 2007

A small finish

Well, I have finished the Glory Bee blackwork ornament and though I have no shortage of stash, I take an inordinate degree of pleasure in using up the odd little bits and pieces of fiber and fabric left over from other projects. I was able to stitch this piece using up the two lengths of green cotton floss left over from my Shamrock bookmark and a small scrap of 35ct linen that I had received in trade for some charts. It just warms my frugal little heart. And now, I have picked up the Cross-Eyed Kat Red Snowfight Dragon again and am moving along nicely on this piece: the head, right arm and wing as well as a really good start on the snow. But I really must get to work on the pre-work for the Mystic Retreat ... I leave for Mystic on Thursday.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

October Goals

I always think I am going to accomplish so much more than I actually do and consequently set impossible goals for myself whether it's school work, administrative paperwork, housework, reading or stitching. The stitching goals for October were no exception.
I did finish my designated "freebie of the month": Star Light, Star Bright from LHN and even managed to stitch it up into a rather attractive throw pillow. And I did finish three of the Workbasket Quaker pieces for my Quaker quilt [that makes 10 down and 4 to go]. This month, I stitched the Cat, the Mouse and the House. That leaves the frog, the swan, the tortoise and the hare ... but they will have to wait until after Christmas ... I have a number of gifts and ornaments left to do. I finally finished the Passion de Croix SAL for the 123stitch board ... the last to do so. And I stitched a Trick or Treat bib for my grandson, Liam. Furthermore, I managed to complete a number of sewing finishes: made up the 2006 JCS Imaginating Santa & Sue Hillis Merry Christmas into Christmas ornaments with beaded trim, made throw pillows of Glory Bee's Home Sweet Home and LHN's Summer Place and Starlight Starbright , as well as stitching up the Waxing Moon Checkerboard Pumpkin [with my additions] into a trick or treat bag for Liam and assembled two biscornus and a name tag. I took Heartstrings Bittersweet Season to the framer and brought home Dragon Dreams Stormbringer.
But I did not do any work on the TW Autumn Faerie or Crosseyed Kat's Red Snowball Fight Dragon, and only a little work on the 2007 JCS Sue Hillis Spool Tree ornament, nor did I even start the Prairie Schooler Ltd. Edition Santa and the current year card Santa as I had hoped ... the Santas were supposed to be finished and at the framer by Halloween. Also not started is the TW Woodland Angel stocking for Liam [supposed to be done by this Christmas]. Nor did I start the pre-work for the Mystic Stitchery Retreat [8 short days away]. My other goal, to transfer all my photo files to Photobucket so I can learn to add pictures of my work to my blog and to some message boards I frequent has yet to be achieved ... I have been taking pictures of finished work faithfully but still need my husband's help to download them to my personal files and need a tutorial in then transferring them to photobucket.
One of November's goals will have to be to set more reasonable goals.