Monday, June 30, 2014

Assessing June Goals and Setting July Goals

JUNE GOALS: I expected June to be relatively placid but it turned out a little differently.  Still plenty of activity at work, including more late nights than expected.  More work in the garden and consequently less stitching time.  
Current BAP:  I am going to ignore this category this month ... it just hasn't been happening for me these past few months, anyway.  Ignoring away, as planned.
UFO/Class Project:  Continue to slog along on The English Band Sampler, a little bit at a time ... which seems to be the only way I can tolerate it now.  I started it two years ago with such enthusiasm but it has simply gone on too, too long.  Resumed stitching this piece  6/14/14 and have managed to finish 45 more of the eyeleys and a comparable number of satin stitches on Band 6.
Town Square SAL: Stitch the Cafe du Monde.  Started 6/9/14; I am a little more than 2/3rds finished with this Town Square chart.  This one is going more slowly because there are frequent color changes to make up the subtle shading changes in roof, walls and windows.
New Start:  Finish Dragon Dream's The Dragon Tea Party [Finished 6/8/14] and start Dragon Dreams'  Here Be Dragons.   This pamphlet has two charts and I hope to complete both this month.  [Started Compass Rose Dragon 6/12/14 and finished 6/14/14.  Started Here Be Dragons on 6/16 and finished it on 6/28/14. ]  
Sewing Finishes: Try to get three or four projects completed.  Didn't get to this yet.

JULY GOALS: Things are settling down a bit but I want to keep my goals list modest to allow more time for enjoying the outdoors and for working on the house and garden.
Current BAP:  I am going to ignore this category again this month ... at least until I get through with the band sampler.
UFO/Class Project:  Continue work on The English Band Sampler
Town Square SAL:  Finish Cafe du Monde.   Stitch the The Silversmith.
New Start:   Start Dragon Dreams' Dragon of the Winter Moon.
Sewing Finishes: Try to get three or four projects completed.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Some Progress Photos

Nine more tows to stitch on the first floor of the Cafe du Monde, plus the backstitching and French knots, not to mention the fill in the roof for which I can not find my DMC 33022.  So it doesn't look like I am going to finish by my self-imposed deadline.  Just one day left in which to accomplish my goals for June.  I still can't seem to accomplish everything I set out to do.  And I have been scaling back on those monthly goals.  I am nowhere near as ambitious as I used to be.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Gallery Post - Dragons

I have always been fascinated by dragons and they have remained in my top ten stitching themes throughout my 40+ years of stitching.  I regret that I do not have photographs of all my dragon pieces.  I wasn't always diligent about keeping a record.  But here are a few photos.

This Cross Eyed Kat's Red Snow Fight Dragon.  There are several more dragon snow fights in this series: a green a blue, a yellow and, I think, a purple dragon.  I may someday go searching for the others and stitch the series.  This chart was a door prize I was lucky enough to win in the online show.

This Dragon Dream's Storm Bringer: a medium to largish piece that I have yet to frame.  This was another of those pieces that used the dratted DMC rayon floss.  Jennifer Aiken-Smith seems to have a fondness for the stuff.

This Teresa Wentzler's Tracery Dragons: one of the most delightful pieces I have ever stitched.  It used DMC and Kreinik blending filament and very fine braid.  Plenty of intricate detail to keep one on one's toes and enough specialty fiber to add a bit of interesting texture.

This another Dragon Dream's chart: from the complimentary Elemental Dragons series.  This is Earth

And these are Fire and Water.

And these are Air and Spirit.

And here you can see them all on a long narrow bell pull ... admittedly not one of my better photos but it does give you an idea of how I finished the piece.


 This is another Dragon Dreams complimentary chart. This is called Dragon of Hope.  I changed the colorway on this from reds to pinks. I made it up as a tote for my grand-daughter who is into all things pink.  I am told that the first thing she did on receiveing it was to remove the satin rose pin and transfer that to her dress.  In any case, I hope she enjoys carrying her necessities for pre-school in this little tote.

This another Dragon Dreams complimentary chart.  I forget the name of it but as you can see it is a drgon guarding its hoard from all comers.

This Teresa Wentzler's Tempest in a Teacup.  This was another great stitching experience and I tink the frame really sets it off.

This is Teresa Wentzler's "You Were Hatched..." depicting a mama dragon explaining the facts of life to her little one.

This is one of Vickey Mackey's Dragon Bookmarks.  There were three bookmarks in this chart and I stitched them all.  Unfortunately the first one, which I did finish as a bookmark, was lost in a round robin exchange long before I started photographing my finishes.  This Golden Dragon looks particularly fierce.

This the Blue Dragon from the same series as the Golden Dragon pictured above.  He is also a rather fierce looking character.  He looks as if he is considering his viewers as so many menu choices.

And another Teresa Wentzler Dragon, Futurecaster, which I embellished with some hematite beads.   I always think Teresa Wentzler's dragons are so elegant and aristocratic.   I love the complexity of her designs.

Dragon Dreams' Here Be Dragons.  This is one of Jennifer Aiken Smith's more whimsical, as opposed to fantastical dragons.  I also love the old map motif.  This was a great deal of fun to stitch.

Dragon Dreams' Compass Rose Dragon.  This is the second chart in the leaflet Here Be Dragons.  I love the colors of the compass in this piece.

Dragon Dreams' A Dragon's Tea Party.  Another whimsical piece complete with cookie stealing baby dragons and a friendly wizard.

And, just to add a bit more evidence of my love of dragons, here are a few photos of other dragons in my life:

My dragon teapot:  I use him for green tea mostly.

My dragon tea strainer: I founf this while antiquing last summer.  I polished it up as best I could, but there is some corrosion.  To be usable it will have to be professionally cleaned and resilvered.   I am planning on asking my husband to have this done as a birthday gift.

My blown glass dragon salt and pepper shakers.  I can't remember the name of the artsy shop in Saratoga Springs where I found these little darlings.  All I remember is that the same shop carried the same glass mugs from which Capt. Jean-Luc Picard sipped his "Earl Grey, Hot."

My dragon garden ornament: He has been guarding my garden for the past seven years or so.  His name is Herbie, named after a dragon in a continuing bedtime saga my husband made up to settle the children down for the night so many years ago.  Herbie also seems appropriate as the garden guardian of a patio filled with pots of herbs.

I also have a selection of books featuring dragons: every thing from The Hobbit to books of dragon lore.

The only thing I seem to be missing is dragon jewelery.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Another Dragon Finish

Here Be Dragons is done.

Now,  it will be on to the remaining goals for June:
1] to finish Cafe du Monde: I'll be working on this tonorrow.
2] to get the remaining eyelets and satin stitches in Band 6 done on The English Band Sampler.  This will be Sunday's project.
3] to get three sewing finishes done.  I'll try to squeeze these in on Monday but I am not all that confident that I'll manage all three.

That leaves just one day per goal.  I am not sure that is actually doable but I'll give it my best shot.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Another Dragon Emerges

I continued to work on Dragon Dreams' Here Be Dragons this morning before work.    It's amazing how much I can accomplish when the husband is still abed.    Not only did I stitch, I did two loads of laundry and a load of dishes ... and managed to get to work on time.

I expect to complete Here Be Dragons very soon thereby fulfilling at least one of this month's goals.  Then it is on to The Cafe du Monde with hopes of meeting another of the monthly goals.  If the neighbors don't destroy my opportunity to stitch on the patio over the weekend, I hope to be working on The English Band Sampler on Friday and Saturday.  If I can just finish the eyelets and satin stitches in Band 6 this month, I shall be quite happy with my progress.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Change of Plans

Well, my plan for stitching on the patio yesterday afternoon was shot to hell and back by some very inconsiderate neighbors.  When you live in a townhouse development, you expect a certain amount of noise to carry over from one householder's property to the next.  But you don't expect to be blasted out of your seat by music that is amped up to the nth degree.  It was so bad that I ended up calling the police at 2:00pm.  We were indoors, with the air conditioner and the TV on and we still couldn't hear the dialogue of the show because of the reverberating bass from two houses down the row!  The police visit was effective for about an hour or two but, after they left, the noise level gradually increased to even worse levels and continued till 10:48pm.  Yes, I noted the time.  I had wanted to call the police again but my husband feared there would be keyed cars or bricks thrown through a window in our future if I did.  With the exception of this one family, this is a nice peaceful little neighborhood.  But they throw these loud parties nearly every other weekend for the whole summer.  It's been going on for five years now.  People call the police frequently but there doesn't seem to be any consequence, at least nothing serious enough to end the problem.  When they first moved in, their kids were babies but now the oldest is big enough to play basketball.  Most weekends, he gets up at 6:00am and from then until after dark, all you can hear is the ker thunk, ker think of a bouncing basketball.  He does this on weekdays, too but only until he has to catch the school bus.  All I can say is, he'd better make the NBA all-star line up with all that practice.  The parents have no concern for the peace of the neighborhood, so why should he.  I feel sorry for the younger brother, though.  He must suffer from a mental disability because sometimes, when he is outdoors, he simply screams continuously and incoherently, no words, not even in his native Spanish.  Nobody attends to his needs and frustrations, apparently.  Physically, he is well cared for and since he is of school age, I have to assume he is having his needs met by the local school district.  But here, we are treated to these semi-regular bouts of screaming for no reason that anyone can see.  We have less than 6 months left on our mortgage, our taxes are reasonable, our utility expenses fairly modest, and the space is perfect for us.  So I don't want to move.  But I pray daily that this family will!

Since I couldn't stitch outdoors yesterday, I stitched indoors.  Here is a photo of my progress.  I hope to finish this piece in a day or two.  I should be able to put in an hour or two this evening and begin work on the second dragon.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

He's Got the Whole World In His Hands

Well maybe, not the whole world, but as you can see, this little dragon has the Americas wrapped in his sinuous curves and his companion will handle the rest of the planet.  I spent an hour or so on my dragon this morning and made a fair amount of progress.  I still need to backstitch the land masses and the longitude and latitude lines.  The chart has all the back stitching done in DMC 823 but I am using DMC 3371 for the dragon, 823 for the globe and map lines and 890 for the land masses.  I think that this gives a cleaner, more distinctive look.  This is an amusing stitch and I look forward to adding it to my  little basket of smalls as a pin pillow.

I plan to spend the rest of my stitching time today out on the patio, working the remaining eyelets on The English Band Sampler.  But I have a number of errands to run first: the Verizon store to check out some new phones for when we renew our contract, the nursery for some garden and potting soil and some flower transplants for the front planter box, the post office to mail some postcard registration reminders for work and the hardware store to pick up some paint chips for the room I am renovating as an office for my husband.  I also want to make a lemon icebox pie for tonight's dessert and marinate some chicken for grilling this evening as well as weeding and planting up the front planter box.  So, a busy day ahead.  After a long winter of lazy weekends spent indoors watching DVDs and reading, it's nice to be active again.  I was beginning to think I'd take root on the couch.

And an update on my little silver cup from yesterday's post:  Every time I was dishes after a meal, I have been spending another few minutes polishing the cup.  I have been using Twinkle's silver paste polish since I didn't seem to be making any headway with Wright's liquid silver polish.  The cup is still pretty tarnished but I am seeing some improvement.  I wonder how much longer it will take to get it nice and clean and bright.  If any reader has a silver polish they swear by, I'd be happy to learn of it.  Otherwise, I think this project will require loads and loads of elbow grease.  I'll show another photo once it is all bright and shiny.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Last Weekend in Coxsackie

There are two fairly sizable indoor Antique malls in Coxsackie, the kind with booths rented by different sellers, sort of like a high end Flea Market  but definitely not a high end antique shop, if you know what I mean.  Mostly they stock collectibles like silver, silver plate, estate jewelery, china, ceramics, books, depression glass, basketry, bric-a-brac and some furniture.  I love browsing in such places.  I tend to look for depression glass in ruby red, cobalt blue and celadon, for tea ware, and for sewing and stitching accessories.  It's a great way to find unusual and impressive birthday and Christmas gifts, as well.

I hit pay dirt:

Some ruby red pieces that I will be giving to my sister-in-law for her August birthday and for Christmas.

The first is a nine inch bowl with the thumb print pattern.  My sister-in-law has a set of four dessert glasses in this pattern and the bowl will make a nice companion piece.  I can just see her using it for her mother's classic Thanksgiving dessert: cranberry mousse.

And the second photo is of a very simple sugar and creamer set.  I think she may already have this.  I shall have to check discreetly on my next visit.  If she does, I'll keep it to go with my ruby red luncheon set.

And I found some celadon pieces for myself: two star burst pattern luncheon plates.  I enjoy mixing and matching  my depression glass tableware when I serve tea or lunch, especially when I have guests, but just for my husband and I as well.  I have some amber pieces, some emerald pieces and even some medium blue pieces that will pair well with this pale green.

This Art Deco tea room creamer is a real charmer.  Now all I have to do is find the sugar bowl to match.  But most of the joy is in the hunt.  I will be making a day trip to another big antique mall cum flea market in a few weeks.  This one in Ulster County rather than Greene County.  I will be on the look out for the companion piece.

The tea strainer is an addition to my collection of teaware.  And I found myself drawn to a number of interesting silver plate spoons, especially the sugar shells.  The large bowled shell spoon is a bit large for any of my silver sugar bowls but it is a nice size for the sugar bowl from my mother-in-law's wedding silver coffee and tea set which I have already passed on to my daughter-in-law.  I plan to send the spoon to her as one of her Christmas gifts.  The smaller bowled shell spoon is too long for my sugar bowls but too short for an iced tea spoon.  However, it is the perfect size for my Waterford honey pots which I can now use as jam jars when serving scones with tea!  And the little fruit spoon with the Bakelite handle just appealed to me for reasons I can't explain.  It has some very delicate engraving on the bowl of ribbons.

But the find that has me really curious is this little cup which I assume was a presentation gift for an infant.  I have started to polish it up but it is so black, I'll need to spend the better part of a Saturday morning to bring it up to a proper shine.  What polishing I have done though has revealed the initials A. F. in the medallion on one side of the cup and the date Dec. 1907 in the opposite medallion.  The mark on the bottom has a 4 within a diamond surrounded by the words Quadruple Plate which in turn are surrounded by the words Fairpoint Mfg. Co. New Bedford , Mass.  As you can see, I still have a great deal of polishing left to do.

I picked up the cup simply because I liked the floral motif that wraps around it and I thought it would be fun to use it when my granddaughter visits.  She is the girliest of girly girls and loves all things fancy and fussy.  Even at the tender age of 5 she has made it very clear that the way to her heart is with lace, crinoline, flounces, frills and pink, pink, pink!  So I think a little silver cup bedecked with flowers would please her no end.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Here Be Dragons

I've always loved those prints of old maps with intricate calligraphy and drawings of sea monsters and the warnings of "beyond this point, there be dragons."  So this lovely little chart was made to order for me.  I am stitching it on 36ct Meditation Blue linen with one strand of the recommended DMC flosses.  I did sub out a different gold for the Kreinik metallic at the corners of the border.  It seemed silly to order a new spool of that particular gold when I had several partial spools of various other golds on hand.  The one I chose to use is a blend of very pale gold with a darker gold, though in the photo it looks more silvery than golden.  After all, there are only 48 stitches in the Kreinik in the entire piece: definitely not worth the expenditure when I have so many options in my stash.   I was making grand progress till I noticed that I miscounted the point at which to start the left side dragon's wing.  The result: I had to frog about 40 minutes' worth of stitching.  My own fault, of course, but still aggravating.  Anyway, I caught up during my lunch break and then got a bit further ahead this evening

I intend to finish the piece as a little decorative pin pillow.  I'll just have to stop at the pet store and buy a small bag of lizard litter, aka ground walnut shells.  That's my favorite pin cushion filler and much less expensive than emery.   I save my emery for those strawberry shaped needle minders that actually see serious service on my stitching table.

I neglected to mention yesterday that the companion  piece, the Compass Rose Dragon, will be finished as a miniature bell pull.  It is just the right shape for such a finish.  And I do have some small brass bell pull hardware in stash that I believe will suit it perfectly.  And, yes, I will be frogging the horns out and moving them to the right a stitch or two.  Apparently it's not just me who finds the placement of the horns oddly out of perspective.  Several readers commented that they looked "wonky".

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Stitching Marathon Report

Dragon Dreams Compass Rose Dragon:  I have finished stitching this exactly as charted.  Now, normally I trust the designer's sense of perspective.  But, even allowing for the slight tilt of the dragon's head, it appears to me that the horns on the right side of the dragon's head are growing out of precisely the spot where his right eye ought to be.  Consequently, I haven't back stitched that area.  I am living with it for a while to see if I really want to frog the horns and move them a stitch or two to the right.  What do my readers think, I wonder!

And I started the second chart in the Dragon Dreams leaflet, Here Be Dragons.  Just the border and the point of a dragon's tail so far but it is a start.

The English Band Sampler:  I have stitched another 75 of the 160 eyelet stitches in Band 6, bringing the total up to 115.  Since each eyelet is made up of 16 smaller stitches, that's 1200 stitches, but who's counting?  Just another 45 eyelets to go before moving on to Band 7.  I am quite sure that once I start Band 7, I shall recover my enthusiasm for this piece.  But these endless eyelets are exhausting.  I need to stitch them outdoors in full daylight with a magnifier.  My town house only has windows front and back and no amount of artificial light alone seems to do when stitching on this ivory linen in very pale fawn floss.  I may not get back to this until Friday when I will be free to stitch on the patio again.  Please pray for pleasant weather.  Otherwise, I'll be moving furniture around in my living room so that I can stitch by a window.  This will annoy my husband no end because he will have to move his TV watching chair to accommodate me.

Cafe du Monde:  This is one of those pieces that, no matter how long you work on it, no discernible progress seems to be made.  And then, quite suddenly, it's done!  Well, it's not done yet and I am still at the no discernible progress stage.

Altogether, not bad for a two and a half day stitching marathon.

Friday, June 13, 2014

In the beginning ...

I started moderating a Stitching Question of the Day thread on the 123 message board recently.  One of the questions I plan to post soon is "When did you first start stitching?"  And that got me thinking about my own answer.  Usually, I trace my stitching "birth" back to my early twenties when my mother gave me a hand-painted needlepoint canvas and some paternayan yarn as a gift.  The gift didn't really reference my own tastes though, since the image was of a Confederate flag.  It was meant to please my new husband, who was a Civil War buff and Confederate re-enactor.  I never did finish that piece.  But I did enjoy the process and soon sought out pieces more to my taste.  From needlepoint, I moved on to crewel and then onto cross-stitch and other surface embroidery.

But upon consideration, I realize my stitching started at a much earlier age, probably at 10.  My best friend Nora and I were tormenting her Nana with questions while she was embroidering a tablecloth under a shade tree one fine summer afternoon.  In an effort to get us to leave her alone, she gave us each a small tea towel with stamped cross-stitch patterns, a little bit of floss and some basic instruction.  We promptly went to sit on my stoop and spent the rest of the afternoon stitching away.  I don't remember Nora doing anymore stitching but I liked it enough to convince my mother to let me walk all the way down Church Avenue past Utica Avenue [the unpassable boundary for her children] to go to the five and dime store that sold stamped cross stitch items and Coats and Clark embroidery floss.   What I do remember, though, was being so proud that my mother allowed me to walk the five long blocks along Church Avenue all by myself to make my own very grown up purchase.  Of course, I was allowed to walk a much further distance along the same street in the opposite direction but that was familiar territory: a walk to St. Catherine of Genoa school and church.  For some reason my mother deemed that a much safer walk and a better neighborhood than the length of Church Avenue with all the shops and crowds.  To hear her speak, you'd think crossing Utica Avenue was the equivalent of entering a cage of man-eating tigers.

I can't remember what I bought, a tea towel or a set of napkins or some such small thing, with my birthday money.  I think I had all of $3 to spend ... it went a lot farther in those long ago days more than half a century ago.  I must have spent a good thirty minutes looking at all the selections because I got in trouble when I got home, for being gone too long and worrying my mother.  My purchase was confiscated, to the accompaniment of many sobs and tears.  My mother, with her usual dramatic flair, tossed it in the trash.  And so ended my enthusiasm for embroidery for a decade. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Another Dragon

This Compass Rose Dragon is a delightful little stitch.  For one thing, it is nice to stitch on 28 ct every so often.  There's no need for my magnifying lamp and I can take the stitching outdoors or to work for lunch time stitching.  At this time of year, it is ever so pleasant to stitch on the patio.  And then there is the fact that I have always liked the soft blue green colorway of the DMC 500-504 family of floss that is used in this piece.  It is a very easy stitch, almost elementary, really.  A no brainer and a welcome relief after the fussy shading of Cafe du Monde and the demanding specialty stitching of The English Band Sampler.  Progress is rapid.

I spent two hours stitching this Wednesday morning before work and another half an hour at my lunch break.  Of course, there wasn't much time for stitching in the evening since the annual parish ministry team dinner took up most of the evening.  I really wasn't very much in the mood for it since, this year, the words team and Christian didn't really seem to apply to everyone.  One of the deacons has been engaging in some rather nasty back-biting and sabotaging of others.  But, of course, that's not the pastor's fault and when he so generously invites us [and our spouses] to gather for a meal, we should all come.  I did resist the urge to kick the offending deacon under the table and was on my best behavior.  But I'd really rather have been at home stitching.  I am taking back some over-contract hours that I worked and will have the rest of the day off today.  I hope to get all caught up with my housework leaving the next three days free for a stitching marathon.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Cafe du Monde

Unlike most of the other pieces in this series, the Cafe du Monde has a great deal of fussy shading.  As a result, it is taking a bit longer to complete than the last few entries that I have stitched. Here is a shot of my progress, such as it is.

And when I got tired of all the meticulously counted shading, I picked up my "new start" chart for this month, Dragon Dreams' Here Be Dragons.  Since I had a small scrap of Golden Promise Silkweaver 28ct linen left over from other projects that was perfect for the smaller piece in this leaflet, I started the Compass Rose Dragon last night and stitched  a bit more this morning.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Town Square Cafe du Monde

Once I got back from church yesterday, I settled in to work on the Cafe du Monde with this result.  I made a fair bit of progress on this piece but it will probably take the better part of this week to complete.  I am using two strands of DMC on the building to give it a solid look but only one strand on the tree that protrudes above the cafe roof line.  I am hoping this will give the tree an airier look as well as varying the texture of the piece.

I need to make a run to the post office tomorrow to send off giveaways and PIFs. And I have started a Stitching Question of the Day thread on a message board of which I am a member.  I shall need to come up with an interesting question daily.  The idea is to invite folks to respond to questions on a variety of stitching related topics so that we may all expand our horizons.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Kitting Up Cafe Du Monde

The tea party is finally over.  I am not sure if you can see the fuzziness of the Wisper hat trim but I believe the silk satin stitched beard shows pretty clearly.  I like to change a few details on charts, adding a bit of texture.  Now that I have finished The Dragon's Tea Party, I have kitted up my next two projects:  The Indy Town Square Case du Monde and Dragons Dreams' Here Be Dragons.

Both of the new projects use DMC exclusively as does this month's UFO project: so I have all the needed DMC in one convenient carrying case: from left to right, the floss for The English Band Sampler, Cafe du Monde and Here Be Dragons.  These are the projects I will be working on for the remainder of the month.

This month's entry from the Indy 2006 Town Square series is The Cafe Du Monde.  It is a little larger than the past few month's entries and will probably take a bit longer to stitch.  But it is such an interesting design that I am quite looking forward to working on it.  I got a quick start on it this morning before Mass while enjoying some early morning stitching on my patio.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

... And Continues

This may be the longest tea party ever, started 5/12 and still going strong.  It is hardly surprising, after all I consume at least 6-8 mugs of tea a day.  It follows that my dragon would be an equally avid imbiber of fine teas.

Monday was a busy day.  It started with a lot of housework before heading out to work at noon and working non-stop till 9pm when the last catechist meeting of the year ended.  Tuesday morning wasn't any better: putting away two loads of folded laundry, folding another load and putting that one away, washing dishes [my retired husband can't seem to manage this simple task and I was too tired last night to tackle them], watering the flowers I bought from the nursery on Sunday and have yet to transplant in patio containers, making breakfast and cleaning up after it.  So, no stitching time Tuesday morning ... though I did manage 45 minutes during my lunch break.

This morning, in spite of all the housework screaming my name, I took my usual hour of pre-work stitching time.  I know it is hard to see what with all the similar greens and the lack of back stitching as yet, but a small dragon is beginning to form.  He is snuggled up in the curl of his mother's tail, blissfully sleeping.

In spite of the limited stitching time these past few days,  I am flying through this chart which is just as well since I have promised to pay it forward to a cyber friend.

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Tea Party Continues

I am very glad to be finished with the rayon floss.  It is nasty and slippery stuff, with one strand or sometimes both coming out of the needle if one doesn't take a very firm hold of the needle. Such a firm grip tends to aggravate my  generally mild arthritis, especially in the recent damp weather.  And I dislike having to use the much shorter lengths of floss: a 12" cut instead of my usual 18" or 24" lengths.  Needing to re-thread my needle so frequently slows me down considerably.  And rayon floss doesn't lay as evenly and easily as cotton or silk or bamboo floss.  But I do have to admit that it looks rather nice as the wizard's robes.

I have been back stitching as I go along, so the design details are really popping.  I am still toying with ideas for doing the hair, beard and hat brim differently.  The notion of satin stitching the beard vertically in white and silver grey silks and then stitching the brim in white Wisper to change it into fur trim rather than a stiff brim, well, they still have an appeal.  But I won't make a final decision till after I am done with all the green of Momma dragon and the last of her brood.  Working on that should keep me busy for the rest of the week.