Thursday, August 31, 2006

A closer look

Since a few of you asked for it, here is a closer look at the beading on Medieval Town Mandala. Not a great photo, but this is what my photography skills will allow. I finished the beaded flowers around the edge of herb garden tonight, and it took me a full four hours (7PM - 11PM) to stitch them! I also got the passwords today for both MTM and M9. I realize I, like everyone else, tend to underestimate how long it takes to stitch a part, but I don't think either will really take long at all. The mystery is revealed - we will be adding yellow roses (algerian eyelets, I think - the chart is on my desk right now) to the trees/rose bushes in the outer corners of MTM to finish it off. Oh, and lots of beads! And speaking of beads, Part 9 of M9 is loaded with beads and crystals! The stitching part is not very big, but could be a little boring (that can add to stitching time, can't it?).
Daylily: Lilting Belle

Good Bye David Wells. One of my all-time favorite Red Sox players was traded to the San Diego Padres tonight. I feel so sad. I will miss him. He has quite a personality... but he is likely to retire at the end of this year and wanted to play on the west coast this year to be closer to his wife and children... and in a classy move, the Red Sox let him go home so he would have a better shot at the post season with another team. But... we won tonight! At least our third string rookies are getting enough experience to be playing better now! (Silver lining time....) Anyhow, I sure do wish you luck, Boomer. Thank you for two wonderful years ;-)

Stitched on today: A gift at work - the recipient reads my blog, so cannot reveal.... and Medieval Town Mandala

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


I got to work on the beads and crystals on Medieval Town Mandala again tonight, since the password for the very final part (I can hardly believe it!!) comes out in a day or two. It was really kind of burdensome to bead the corner triangles near the center tonight. The entire outer edge of each of the four triangles is blue and gold beads. But... the delicas beads are slightly wider than two threads of belfast linen. So, the vertical sides of the triangles were a bit of a tight fit (that is putting it mildly). However, that is done now, and I am now on to making little beaded flowers around the next border - which I love doing. I look forward to getting back to them tomorrow night. I think the darker purple ones really look a lot like lavender - good job Martina! I don't think any photo I can take (and most certainly not this one) can show how sparkly MTM is getting now :-)
Daylily: Siloam Valentine

After tomorrow, I am off for four days as the US celebrates Labor Day. I had anticipated having Fridays off for the month of August, but it never really did work out that way when I got the notice about my record review. I spent the last two Fridays either catching up with paperwork at home or going to the office to finish my filing... this Friday, no work at all.

Stitched on today: Bordeaux Sampler ( at work - only a tiny bit, but still some...) and Medieval Town Mandala

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Weekly Paradigm Lost Update

It's time again for the weekly update of Paradigm Lost, the SAL I am doing with Jo on Tuesdays. I am now working on Page 2 of the chart and have started another big motif :-)
I received some lovely belated birthday gifts from Anne a couple of days ago. She is so sweet, but I think she may have forgotten that she had sent me a Silkweaver gift certificate!! Now a second gift?? Oh my gosh! She sent me Vineyard Sampler by Periwinkle Promises. I love this. I have never owned a Periwinkle Promises design, but do love them! She also included a cute magnetic kitty memo pad for the refrigerator and a sweet little oriental change purse too - and look at that card - LOL! Anne, you are such a good friend, thank you!!

Get well Big Papi!!! I have to add this, as I am very concerned. David Ortiz, aka Big Papi, of the Boston Red Sox flew back to Boston and was admitted to Massachusetts General Hospital today with an irregular heartbeat. He was also seen at MGH during the dreaded Yankees series a week or so ago. All is not well, this is clear! And, we can ill afford him with: Tim Wakefield, Jason Varitek, Trot Nixon, Alex Gonzalez, Lenny DiNardo, Matt Clement, Doug Mirabelli, Manny Ramirez, Jon Lester, and Wily Mo Pena all hurt... plus Mark Loretta, Kevin Youkilis, Mike Lowell are playing but hurting and needing time off.... the walking wounded, MASH unit... it is unfathomable how many players are hurt right now. That leaves nobody but minor league players who are not really ready for the Big League to come in and play for us... and lose, as the stats show. Get Well Red Sox is even more appropriate to say!
Daylily: Frans Hals (this one is actually still blooming here)

***Thanks to everyone for their well wishes and kind words about my record review - I appreciate all of you! It was a huge stressor in my life, and you all helped!

Stitched on today: Paradign Lost

Monday, August 28, 2006

An Emblem of Love SAL, Week Two

Tonight was the second night of the Emblem of Love SAL. I really love working on this project. It took forever to stitch the tree, but I did manage to get the first medallion finished now - a sweet little bluebird in an apple tree... makes me think, "awwwwwww." LOL. My scan is a little crooked, but what else is new!!

Thank you to everyone who offered me a lot of support with my record review today. I am really pleased to let you know it went extremely well. I was nervous at first. They only sent one reviewer out, and when I saw who it was, I was pretty disappointed. I didn't get the best vibe off of this guy when he was my area case manager a couple of years ago. And, since they sent one reviewer, not two, I couldn't kind of eavesdrop and try to get a sense of how the review was going. Unfortunately, he didn't have a habit of talking to himself either. I was a bit at ease that he was not bringing any of the 15 client charts I gave him back to me asking for missing items. That is never a good sign when they do that! And, he was due to review until 12:30, but he approached me at noon to say he was ready. He gave me a very quick summary. No charge backs and no correction plans needed - very good review! The only things he came up with was having me add new things to forms - things I never could have even guessed about... so I figure I won't see them for another couple of years now :-) And, I get a rate increase that is retroactive to July 31st. I already knew I got that a couple of weeks ago, but today's news helped me to really realize that all is well!
Daylily: Patterns

**** Anyone know anyone who can play baseball?? The Red Sox really, really need your help if you do! They are a walking MASH unit - who isn't hurt or down with the stomach flu at this point?? I can't think of any of them that don't fit into either or both of those two categories - yikes!!!! What horrible luck for them this year! They aren't even playing at a contending level any longer.

Stitched on today: An Emblem of Love

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Bob and I ....

Tacky Bob, that is. We spent quite a long time together today. I started the beading on Medieval Town Mandala. There is a lot of beading to be done in this center portion of the design, and it is quite slow going as I am attaching each bead with a full cross stitch to assure that they sit very properly. I almost had a crisis with MTM today too. I managed to drop one of the olivine Swarovski bicones in my chair. Uh-oh, they only give you just enough in the kit! But I did somehow manage to shake it loose from inside the chair, and it is safely attached to MTM now :-) Also, the delicas beads are a really, really tight fight on the vertical side of the blue and gold triangle to the right of my Tacky Bob in this picture. That was a little bit tricky. So, I give up now for tonight... my big record review is tomorrow and this beading was making me feel a bit agitated, that is no good. Will get back to this in a few days as I have SAL commitments (fun ones!) the next two days - yay!!
Daylily: Matt

Stitched on today: Medieval Town Mandala

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Mystery IX Part 8 Done

OK, it took me a while... all that filling with Winter Brook in the background of the triangle took a long time, but I managed to finish Part 8. Now maybe I can get some beading done on MTM tomorrow?? Thank you, everyone, for your inpsiration and giving me the motivation to keep plugging along at these huge Chatelaine pieces... you help me a lot and I appreciate you!
Daylily: Cat Dancer

There were a few people who commented on the morning glory photo I posted a couple of days ago - I have to grow them intentionally here every year in pots. They are not winter hardy at all in New Hampshire. So, every spring I run to WalMart, buy a packet of seeds, nick each hard covered seed and soak them for a couple of days before starting them inside for a few weeks. This year, I put them out too early, and the bear who was visiting us for a little while in the spring ate the first batch. I found the pot toppled over on the porch. Too bad, those were mixed colored ones. When I went to get more seeds, they only had Heavenly Blue left. (I know, Heavenly Blue is pretty - but I pretty much end up with them every year - LOL). I laughed that they are like weeds to some of you - I wish I were that lucky, I just adore morning glories.

Stitched on today: Mystery IX

Friday, August 25, 2006

Facing the (last) corner

I kept up with Mystery IX tonight. I have made it to the final corner now. I love this garden more every time I pick it up to stitch on it. I really love the Thread Gatherer Bronze Age Green silk that Martina is using in this garden. It is pretty much everywhere in the design. It is more of an antique gold color. But it really stands out and, I think, pulls this project together. I also love, love, love the Lavender Bliss belfast on which this is being stitched. Hopefully tomorrow I will still feel motivated and will finish Part 8.
It's been a stressy couple of weeks as I have been staying at the office and preparing for my record review with a major insurance company that is scheduled for 9 AM Monday morning. I went into the office today just to do what I needed to do to make sure all the i's were dotted and the t's were crossed. Then I went straight to Colonial Needleworks to visit my friend (she listened to my anxiety - thanks Sue!!!) and to pick up some stash to help me to relax a bit! I picked up these great new charts - Spring Violets by Hands To Work (Sue knew I wanted this brand new release, and there it was for me when I got there!) and the new Loose Feathers Club design from Blackbird Designs, Garden of Life. It also included some super pretty R&R 30 ct Alabaster. Nice color, and a nice large cut too!!! Not in the photo are the 6 skeins of Crescent Colours floss for Heart of Gold, and some linens I had special ordered from Sue - R&R 30 ct Liberty Gathering Gray for The Apple and the Oak (and thank you, Karen, for sending me the Anchor floss for this wonderful sampler - I got the other four colors on ebay last week!!)- and R&R 35 ct 18th Century Gold for Quaker Diamond. And... I got some 40 ct Flax linen for Memorial Sampler - it was a good day!! Oh, Sue has a gorgeous supply of hand dyed linens in from Enchanted Fabrics right now! Wow, so pretty!!! If you are in the Southern NH area, you may want to stop in and see them yourself! I was good... so far... and didn't get any!
Daylily: Blackberry Candy

Stitched on today: Mystery IX

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Back to Mystery IX

I went back to Mystery IX again tonight, with about a week left in the month, and I want to get this part finished. If I stay motivated, I will finish Part 8 this weekend and then I hope to do some of the beading on MTM too. I think Mystery IX is beautiful!

Thank you to everyone who left nice feedback about Blessings Be Thine. Yes, it is a Blackbird Designs chart. It is from 2005, and is not a Loose Feathers Club chart. If you cannot locate it, I believe that Colonial Needleworks has it in stock. If you email Sue at the shop, she can help you out. She takes mail orders, and she carries the R&R linens as well. I am using Sugar Maple Fabrics' Acorns & Chestnuts belfast for mine.

Q. What do you keep your WIPs and other stitching supplies in when traveling?
A. This is what I like to use - plastic file folders that either snap closed like this one does or have a string that ties it closed. I prefer the snap ones since my cats like to chew on the ones with the string closures. I get them at WalMart and they are quite inexpensive. This one has Blessings Be Thine in it.
I feel terribly about how long it has taken me to post this. I received this lovely belated birthday gift from Kathy a few days ago. She sent me this cute little ort bag that I can put on the side of my chair - I think I will bring it to my office! I have it on top of one of my stash cabinets in this photo. And, she sent me some nice little hand-dyed fabrics too! Thanks Kathy! I am so sorry to hear her sad news about her grandfather passing away. Hugs to you!!
My flower for the day to my stitching pals is: Daylily: Always Afternoon

Stitched on today: Mystery IX

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Blessings Be Thine - Long Overdue

I haven't had any real stitching time at work this month, especially with the upcoming record review for which I have been busy preparing. So, tonight I decided to pick up Blessings Be Thine and work on it at home for a while. Here is my update... seems like forever since I have stitched on this one.

Q. Do you have an organizational system for your fabric? If so, what is it? If not, what do you store your fabric in?...and...How do people store their fabric, especially those small but potentially usable pieces? Do they sort by count? How do they label it or otherwise know what each piece is?
I don't really have any kind of amazing organizational system for my fabrics. I keep them in these Rubbermaid storage units that Mike keeps bringing home for me from WalMart. The first low cabinet you see is packed with hand dyed fabrics... and the taller one has drawers that also contain fabrics that I know are slated for specific projects...
The bottom two drawers of this smaller unit contain fabrics as well. The bottom drawer is full of hand dyed fabrics that are 36 and 40 ct only. The drawer above it is full of 32 and 28 ct hand dyed fabrics that are larger cuts and do not fit anywhere else in my storage units...
And this little Rubbermaid container is full of my standard fabrics. Most are labeled but some aren't - it can be a real adventure. Smaller pieces are in there too!
Morning Glory: Heavenly Blue. I noticed this morning glory blooming out in a pot with nasturtiums before I went to work this morning. This is the first morning glory I have seen bloom this year. I have seen plenty of closed buds in the evening though. It was still a bit overcast when I left early this morning, but I did grab the camera for this shot. It may be the only morning glory I see this year as fall is approaching.

Stitched on today: Blessings Be Thine

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Fifth Tuesday with Paradigm Lost

It is hard to believe, but this is already the fifth Tuesday for the Paradigm Lost SAL. It is starting to get quite bigger now, so I was not able to use the scanner. I love the script used in this sampler, especially the K. Really nice!

Thanks to those who left such nice comments about An Emblem of Love. Karen and I are both really enjoying this SAL already. The colors are just so pretty! Someone mentioned she was glad I was not doing the monotone version. I agree - EoL is not very special done in one color. It's charm really comes from the multicolored version (in my humble little opinion, that is).
And, well, I couldn't really have used the scanner tonight even if I wanted to. You see, Ava has decided to tuck herself away into my roll top computer desk and is right there protecting the scanner!! She's a little show off.

New DVD Release Tuesday - Silent Hill and Just My Luck (recommended by a client).
Daylily: Little Peanut

I know I haven't been visiting blogs as much lately. I also haven't much chance to stitch at work (except for a few minutes today to work on a gift). I have an insurance company site visit coming up on Monday and I have been ultra busy getting ready for that. Life should be normal again soon.

Stitched on today: Paradigm Lost

Monday, August 21, 2006

New SAL: An Emblem of Love

Tonight was the start of a new Monday night SAL. This time it is An Emblem of Love by Ellen Chester of With My Needle. I am stitching this along with Karen. Carissa quit blogging and then dropped out of our SAL... :-( I really had a lot of fun starting this one tonight. It is so tiny and so delicate. I am stitching it on Lakeside Linens 40 ct Vintage Bittersweet using the DMC, Gentle Art Sampler Threads and Olde Willow Stitching floss as charted. I can't wait to see Karen's! I also can't wait until next Monday so I can work on this again. I know I will miss this one before then :-)

I just have to show my pretty new TOTM from Mindy of Sugar Maple Fabrics. This just arrived today, and it is Sun Dappled Glade belfast linen. I just adore this - I cannot wait to stitch something on it. What glorious colors! Thanks Mindy

Now, I have been getting quite a few emails about the email subscription service on my blog not working. Yes, it is true, it is not working. I visited Bloglet and my site shows as enabled, but the emails are not going through. I know the person who administrates that site was talking about quitting at some point. The hobby was becoming too much of a job. I think that is what has happened now. He probably quit, so I cannot guarantee that you will get any more emails in the future. Please bookmark me, though, and stick around! I would hate to lose you!
Daylily: Bandit Man (well... this may be Holiday Delight. Mike took the photos, so I don't know for sure where this one was taken. It looks a little too deep orange to be Bandit Man... just not sure, but it is one or the other)

Stitched on today: An Emblem of Love

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Veronica's Tea Room

OK, I am again confused and wondering when the next RR mailing date is... for some reason, I just cannot lock these in my brain. But I suspect September 15th or the like?? So.... I worked on Veronica's Neighborhood RR today. I have now completed all of the components I wanted from The Tea Room chart. Now I need to create some kind of walkway down towards the bottom of the square and add something more to fill in that area.... I am thinking maybe bunnies from LHN's Morning Berries. I have to take a peek... maybe needs some more gardeny stuff too.... This has been very fun to stitch!
No daylily today - instead, here is one of my tigerlilies :-)

Stitched on today: The Tea Room

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Just Another M9 Update

Yep, that is all this is today.... just another update of Mystery IX. Thanks to a bit of a movie marathon tonight (RV, V for Vendetta and For Love of the Game), I was able to get a bit done... finished the second triangle and started the third. For the first time since this started back in January, I am starting to feel like this garden is getting big.... I was wondering when that would happen!
Daylily: Sweet Surprise (this is actually a very tiny daylily, but I think the way Mike framed and cropped it makes it look full-sized).

Stitched on today: Mystery IX

Friday, August 18, 2006


Triangles sure are the theme with Mystery IX. I made a start on the second triangle of Part 8 tonight - I made it as far tonight as I did on the first night of stitching the other one of these triangles. They are quite a bit of work. They are super pretty in real life, though. The colors in this garden are just amazing! And, I don't find stitching this one to be as burdensome (so far...) as Medieval Town Mandala.
Daylily: Flower Basket

I spent a while today going through Hand-Dyed Fibers' site to create a conversion for Bay Sampler - I have been anxious to stitch this but am not going to buy 19 skeins of Thread Gatherer Silk 'n Colors at $7.00 a skein for it... Vikki was even helping me to convert this via email, although her suggestions were based more on the DMC alternates and were rather dull... so I picked all kinds of bright and variegated shades - I can't wait to see how the silks look when they arrive. I selected: Straw, Midnight Rainbow, Flame, Holly Leaves, Dragon Tears, Elephant Ears, Ecru, Dragon Blood, Double Moss, Castory, Malt, Ocean, Earth Dragon, Dragon Scales, Knucker, Blueberry Creme, Cafe Latte, Blue Sky and Aubergine... I post this primarily for my own record :-) I might pick up the R&R Americana Blend that is called for... or I might go a little brighter, depending on my silks when they arrive... I wonder how my selections will turn out.

Stitched on today: Mystery IX - Le Potager Du Roi

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Some lilies

Picking this up to stitch tonight was really just an impulse. I had told myself that I needed to work on Mystery 9 for a bit now... the month is half over, and I have only done one triangle/side/corner... whatever you would choose to call it. But, I didn't feel like having anything that cumbersome to work on tonight and I stared at my WIP bag for a while... finally pulled this one out! And, here is my Women of the Mayflower update...
Daylily: When I Dream - OK, I think this time I really did find a daylily without any bugs on it! Yes! I knew there were some! This is one of our favorites - it is wonderfully bold and bright, so I have several clumps of it in various areas of the garden, and even some out by the mailbox for passerbys and the mailman to admire too.
And, I did say "some lilies" - this is my Lily, she just looked so cute on the other end of the sofa just now, so here she is. It really has been a long time since I have shared any of my kitties here, so for those who do not know them, this is Lily, she is four years old and is the teeny tiniest little persian female. She is called a dilute calico. Instead of the traditional red, black and white (which our Ava is), Lily is blue, cream and white. She is a little doll, adores both Mike and I, chats at us constantly and sleeps in our bed (with Ava) - she and Ava chat with each other all night, and it took Mike and I quite some time to learn how to sleep while they chat!!

Stitched on today: Women of the Mayflower

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Progressing on House 3

I really want to stick with having some decent time every month on Houses of Hawk Run Hollow, considering I started this back in January of 2005 and am only on my fourth block.... I really enjoy this one! I still have to fill in more of the Legacy Blue around the diamonds, which are so colorful. And, I did get the outline of the house finished tonight. I think this block should be finished soon as long as I continue to fit in time for it. After I finish the sampler I will be free to work on Village of Hawk Run Hollow - I really do want to finish HOHRH first. (Are the ladies who joined this SAL still working on it? I have been wondering, as I have not heard from any of you lately... am I alone now?)
Daylily: Cherry Eyed Pumpkin - a bug free photo today - LOL! Someone asked about the Japanese beetle on yesterday's daylily. I called it an unfriendly visitor because they are so destructive - especially to my roses, but also to the daylilies. You can even see a wound on one of the petals - made, most likely, by that beetle - argh. Most of my daylilies are done now, although a few later blooming and extended blooming varities are still turning out blooms. This is yet another photo from Mike's huge photo gallery he has been taking all summer long. **Oh my goodness! It is NOT bug-free - I just noticed little tiny ants on it - too funny! Well... that's gardening! Flora and fauna...

There was a request by someone for what type of digital camera we use - Mike and I use very different cameras, and I believe the request was regarding his - I don't know, I will have to check with him. I will blog that answer tomorrow. The quality of the photos has a lot to do with his talent - his father was an Air Force Photographer and I believe he taught Mike some good tricks.

Stitched on today: Houses of Hawk Run Hollow

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Paradigm Lost Update

It's update time again for Paradigm Lost. I haven't heard from Jo, my SAL mate, lately... I hope she is well... hers is really pretty too using the Indigo Ocean silk on white linen. Same pattern, totally different effect. Anyhow, this one motif is really quite large. It has been fun and a nice break to wander off to do the fleur de lis and little doo dads :-)

Thank you to everyone who left such nice feedback about Kingdom Sampler! You stitchers are so motivating and wonderful!!

A few asked what will replace it - two things will - An Emblem of Love with Carissa (not blogging any longer) and Karen V., as well as Violet and Lace Sampler with Katrina :-) And, of course, my long list of other WIPS too!
Daylily: Femme De Joie (with an unkind visitor on it - my blog is full of bugs lately, isn't it??)

New DVD Release Tuesday: Scary Movie 4 and RV :-)

Stitched on today: Paradigm Lost

Monday, August 14, 2006

Kingdom Sampler Finished

Kingdom Sampler

Dragon Dreams

28 ct Cafe Mocha French Linen by Wichelt

DMC floss and Weeks Dye Works

Stitched 6/5/06 - 8/14/06

Monday SAL with Nikki

As I was stitching along tonight, I realized all of the remaining parts for me were quick ones - I was able to get both of the last two clouds stitched in less than fifteen minutes! So... I went for it... and got it done! This was a very fun stitch. I can't wait to see Nikki's, she must be close too - this moves along so quickly at the end :-) It needs a really good press, but it is not going to get that at midnight - LOL!

Now I am free to start my SAL with Carissa and Karen, as well as one with Katrina too...

Stitched on today:Kingdom Sampler

Sunday, August 13, 2006

I think I underestimated this part

Finally... it took me a very long time tonight to fill in this little part of the garden, which is only 1/4 of Part 8 of Mystery IX... I have to do three more of these this month. Martina is using a variegated silk for the background, so all of those individual x's are very time consuming. So.... is that what artichokes look like? I thought I had seen one before, and it sure didn't look like these purple things - LOL! I will have to research that now! I apologize for the overexposed photo - yet again - I stitch until late and then have to take photos indoors in a finished basement, with not the greatest lighting - sigh. **I did find an artichoke website, and they showed a purple one! OK... now they look legitimate to me.
Daylily: Decatur Cherry Smash (with a visitor)

Stitched on today: Mystery IX