Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring in central Virginia

Spring has sprung in central Virginia, so I'm looking out my window at...

NOT this
 But THIS...

Yes, that's a lone yellow pansy blooming in the first picture. It seeded from the ones that we planted last fall.

The second picture is a portion of our backyard. Yard is a misnomer, there are 6.875 acres of trees and .125 acres of weeds grass. As I was taking the picture the tyrants cats snuck came out to wander around the deck.
Spot, Trouble and Salem's Grand Adventure

They're indoor cats, so this excursion, while nothing like those of the Ginger cats, was pretty exciting. I was surprised that they weren't having fits about their feet being wet and cold, but it didn't seem to phase them and I had a difficult time getting them to come back in.

Really Absolutely nothing to report on the stitching front this week, didn't touch my commute piece, didn't pick up Grandfather's Sleigh, didn't finish the ibis and papyrus section of Egyptian Garden. Maybe I'll have some progress pictures later today or tomorrow (I'm going to a doctor's appointment with the Hubs tomorrow as he can't remember anything anyone tells him - especially if it has anything to do with things like diet and exercise!)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Thank yous, comments and Stitching

Thank you to Daffycat for mentioning my move and my blog. And a big thank you to everyone that followed her link and signed up as a follower!  As I'm not used to having comments, so please don't send hate mail if I don't respond right away.

To avoid said hate mail, thank you for all the kind comments on Egyptian Garden. As I mentioned, I am so close to having this done, but I keep finding anything else to do other than stitching. You KNOW it's bad when I'm vacuuming the refrigerate coils, cleaning the cat boxes and mopping the floors instead of stitching!  It's rather irritating as I've done other Chatelaines and BAPs and really haven't had this much trouble, I can usually stitch my way through the 3/4-done slump fairly quickly. Annmarie, I'm only pretending to work with a plan! I love creating lists and plans and sometimes I even look at them! Once Egyptian Garden is done it's going to be a stitching free-for-all for a while! Mouse, work is bad to say the least! Of the 12 people in my division 10 of them are looking for new jobs, the other two can retire any time they want!

Stitches 'n Things newsletter had a link to A Dark Alphabet at A Note of Friendship. It's a freebie "Halloween-ish" alphabet series dedicate to Lisa Roswell and her love of all things Halloween. The first one is "A is for Apple" and features the serpent and apple tree. I'll be collecting this one and may actually start it at some point during this lifetime.

Stitching did happen this week and despite the wonderful weather forecast for this weekend, I'm hoping to do a bit this weekend (the yard clean up will wait another weekend).

On Egyptian Garden, I added the cat (done over one and a real pain), the brown border over the columns, started the ibis/papyrus section and connected the left and bottom columns with a start on the far-away palm tree border. I'm hoping to finish the ibis section this weekend. I did a quick count from the material list and there are almost 3,100 beads on this! I'm so glad I did the Delicas as I went as there are 2,716 of those alone!

Egyptian Garden by Chatelaine
Stitched on 32-count Sand Belfast
Holiday Joys Sampler didn't receive as much attention as I'd hoped on the train but, there is now a second story to the house.
Holiday Joys Sampler by Homespun Elegance
Stitched on 27 count linen with DMC floss
I pulled Grandfather's Sleigh by Shakespeare's Peddler out of the WIP bin and finished "sleigh" and started the sleigh. I may work on this today and see if I can get a finish. I found this one in a clearance basket at In Stitches a while back (marked down to $2.00!) and thought I'd have a quick finish with it. Was going to take it with me at Christmas until I realized that except for the sleigh, this is all over-1 on 40 count! The photo is really dark, the fabric is cream over-dyed with a slightly darker cream. 
Grandfather's Sleigh by Shakespeare's Peddler
Stitched on an unknown 40 count hand-dyed with unknown varigated cotton floss
More stash in the mail this week. I've already put away the piece of Summer Sky jobelan (my newest favorite blue "neutral") for the seasonal birds freebies from Waxing Moon Designs and the piece of WDW Cocoa for Little House Needleworks' 2011 Christmas ornaments (at least the first 6). The one I did get a picture of is the R&R Reproductions Kona for Blackbird Designs' Pumpkin Farm as well as the pattern and fibers.

Yes, I was totally off on my guess last week, so there should be one more package delivered with the fabric for Blackbird Designs Wild Lilies and Gathering Basket and Sarah Elliott.

I'm thinking of ordering Witches Hollow from Primitive Needle. After Lisa mentioned that Cape Cod Boys and Cape Cod Girls was from an old sea chanty, I looked it up and was hoping that a Cape Cod Cats was in the works (Cape Cod cats they have no tails they were all blown off in a northeast gale - depending on the version of the chanty you find).  With Lisa's untimely passing I thought that I might take a stab at doing it. The wording is no problem, as I can use the letters from the other two but I  really wasn't sure about the cats. As I'll want my final to match Lisa's in style I looked through her patterns and there are *lots* of cats in Witches Hollow. This'll be one of those "when I win the lottery" things.

*oh yeah, can you tell I figured out the "links" feature?*

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Flowers and some stitching

Spring has sprung in central Virginia. The birds are singing, I heard spring peepers Friday night, the mourning doves are getting frisky and there are all sorts of flowers blooming in the yard. I think I may have to change the name of my blog to "White Flower Meadow" as the yard is now full of these:

I'll try to get a picture of them open but, if I remember correctly, there will be 5 petals with a dark, purple or blue line or spot at the bottom of each petal and they're very small, the leaves in the background are about half the size of my thumbnail. I know they're weeds wildflowers as we don't have any "real" grass in our yard - when you're front yard is 3 acres, planting and keeping up grass is prohibitively expensive, weeds are free and they stay green right through the summer.

My "Christmas" cactus is ready to bloom again. Not sure what's causing the strange blooming pattern, but I won't complain too much as it is pretty.

As this is a stitching blog I should probably show some stitching. Still plugging along on Egyptian Garden. The outer border is done, the "cat" block is done sans cat, I finished my last set of columns (and there was much rejoicing!!) and started the last far-away palm border.

I wish I could say I was doing more than "plugging" along - I am so close to finishing, but I've done this before - get close to a finish and I totally lose my desire to stitch that project. I've tried pulling other things out and working on them and then going back, but it just doesn't work. I hit a certain point and POOF! no more project mojo. I don't have the option of putting this away and working on it later as this is my DIL's Christmas present (from last year!) so I *have* finish it.

Anyway, here's my progress on the Homespun Elegance Christmas ornament (officially called "Holiday Joys Sampler"):

Yeah, that center crease is going to be tough to get out but as this is done in DMCs, I can give it a good soak and iron.

Sarah Elliott has reached her new home port. Such a pretty pattern! I'm trying to figure out how to get it into the rotation, but I really do need to focus on getting Egyptian Garden done before I even start thinking of anything new.

ABC Stitch emailed me that my first order is on its way. If I remember correctly, actually remembering at all is becoming an issue, these should be the pieces for Blackbird Designs Gathering Basket and Wild Lilies.

Not that I watch a lot of television, but I've been trying to stay away from it the last couple of days as the situation in Japan is heartbreaking. My heart goes out to everyone effected by this tragedy. I sent an email to our office in Hilo, Hawaii on Friday, as expected, they weren't in, but the reports from Hawaii are pretty good, so hopefully everyone there is safe.

A little less than 12 hours and I'll be in bed so that I can get up and torture myself at work for another week. It's so sad that my Sunday has now been ruined by those people. Used to be the "dread" would start Sunday evening, but it now starts Saturday afternoon and continues all through Sunday. Maybe if I get myself going I'll be able to distract my thoughts with my stitching.

I just looked over and I've got 17 followers!! Don't know when (or how) that happened, but thank you to everyone. Hopefully my drivel won't scare anyone off - I mostly keep this as a way for me to keep track of what's going on in my life and my stitching.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

February Recap and March Goals

Here were my February goals (they were posted over on my Yuku blog but I'll move them over here now):

EGYPT GARDEN-Stitch lower right pyramid, cat and block, and outer border (all but about 30 eyelets)
 WINE A BIT-Stitch Nope, didn't touch it
HOLY NIGHT-Stitch one row See above comment
Work on inside of top scroll Ditto
Finish band 1 and start band 2 EIGHTSOME REEL-Finish two rounds This one has been retired from my commute rotation for now and replaced with Homespun Elegance's Joy to this House or somthing like that.

Suppose I should be a bit more realistic with March's goals:

-Finish outer border Done
-Cat block Done
-Columns Done
-Ibis and  papyrus section
-Stitch band 3
-Stitch band 2

March Already!?!?!?

It's scary when I'm saying that so early in the year. But it does look like spring is just around the corner here in my little corner of Virginia. There were dandelions flowering in the front yard when I went to get the mail last Saturday and the daylilies are popping up all over and worst of all daylight savings time starts next weekend. I am a firm hater of that time change - don't get it, don't like it and don't want it.

On that little rant, it is the first weekend of March and I'm a day late with my TUSAL posting. This month's has lots of bits from Egyptian Garden, a few from Santaberry Pudding and even fewer, just because it was a small part, of Christmas Elegance.

March TUSAL on a Fat Quarter of WDW Linen 32-count Cappuccino
and the Crescent Colours for two LHN Christmas Ornaments
that's Trouble in the background
I got two stash packages in the mail this week. My two Blackbird Designs, Wild Lilies and Gathering Basket, from Wasatch Needlecraft and the above mentioned fabric, TONS of GAST and Crescent Colours, Little House Needleworks' Cardinal Winter and Blackbird Designs Traveler's Journey from Stitching Bits and Bobs. WN will be sending along Sarah Elliot's Home Port when she gets it and SB&B says my second order is "being processed for shipment" but it has been processing for over a week now. The second SB&B's order showed up in today's mail. Lots of Crescent Colours and GAST - they're for the two Blackbird Designs, Wild Lilies and Gathering Basket and Sarah Elliot's Home Port. I got an email from WN saying that the chart's in the mail . Now just have to wait for two fabric orders from ABC Stitch.

Not a lot of stitching going on here this work week, but I did start Homespun Elegance's annual Christmas ornament from 1998. No, I haven't had it that long but if you could see my stash, you'd know that there are things in there from loonngg before that. I did a fair bit of stitching on Egyptian Garden. It's a chore and push to stitch anything on this one right now. I'm at that part where I can see the end but the love's gone. It'll come back but I just have to push through it.  So, here's where I left off on Sunday:

I still need to post my February wrap up and my March goals, but this post is long enough, so I'll be doing two in one day.