Monthly Archives: January 2008

Can you believe it’s already the end of January?

I can’t. It seems the days just fly by right now. It’s been a very cold month here, so I’ve spent a lot of time indoors and even better, some time stitching.

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned a gathering of the sisterhood here at the house. I wanted to share a photo of that wonderful day with women I cherish: (Clockwise from back: Janet, your’s truely, Maddie Julie, Susan, Paula’s chair, Theresa)
Stitching at table

and, just so she doesn’t feel left out (which it appears she didn’t:-)): Dear Paula and Maddie…both lights in my life:

Paula and Maddie-Love the outfits!

And, lest I forget…my first finish of the year, which was started on the day we had our gathering. May I present ‘Family’ by Pine Mountain:

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I know it looks a little crooked and frankly, it is because the Tula fabric is sewn in crooked. 😦 There are two full threads of difference between one side and the other and the top and the bottom…made it difficult to center.) But apart from that, I do love the pattern. I personalized it with our initials (Dan and mine), the year we were married and this year (our 25th!).

And last, but not least, I wanted to share my progress on the Kingsland Ancestral Wedding Sampler (through Band 4). This is through the first rotation.

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Of course my photo didn’t capture the wonderful richness of the colors, but it’s been a fun stitch. The space you see between the lines of cross stitch will be a personalized account of a very special wedding. I am in the process of charting that now.

I’ve got to fly, in that I’m due into work shortly. Hope your day holds lots of happy stitching time.

Blessings,

Julie

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Oops…another late post.

Saturday, January 19th 2008 was my one-year ‘blogiversary’.  I can’t say I posted as faithfully as I wanted to or, for that matter, achieved all my stitching goals. What I can say is I’ve met some wonderful people, used this web-site as another way to keep up with friends and family and, most of all, have really enjoyed developing my little corner of the web.

I have a lot more ideas for 2008, so thanks for dropping by and Godspeed until we meet again.

Blessings,

Julie

This should have been Monday’s post…

…but I am a little late.

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant. –Martin Luther King, Jr.

I share that belief. It is what give me hope in the face of a crazy world. What can I do to change things?

‘Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.’ — John Wesley

Seems to be pretty succinct…but so hard to put into practice.

Yet, here in this world of needlework I’ve seen good being practiced time and time again. The generosity and caring of this community and the outreach I have seen to both the hurting and the needy are an example the world at large would do well to heed. I am honored to be a part of this group bound only by the love of a threaded needle. You are…many of you…wonderful role models for me. Thank you!

And now, to completely change the subject, I have had a terrible stitching week. I didn’t touch a needle from last Tuesday (the 15th) to yesterday. Why? Well, we had a busy weekend, filled with work and family (a wonderful time, just not good for stitching). In addition, I chose to spend my leisure time re-reading the first book I ever wrote (all 1600 pages of it :-)) It is not something I have aspirations to publish, but it is one I would like to clean up and apply those things I’ve learned about crafting words in the past seven years. It is dear to me in it’s own way, since it was while doing it I discovered how much I love to write.

The biggest problem? I can’t edit, read, write and stitch all at the same time. I think I have too many interests and don’t use my time nearly as well as I could. Something else to work on this year.

I did update my stitching hours page and I am close to being finished with my first rotation on the Kingsland Ancestral Wedding Sampler. I have had a lot of fun working on it. So….all that remains is to finish the last hour and FINALLY share some photos here.

In the meanwhile, I hope all of you are staying warm and are happy in stitches.

Blessings,

Julie

I need to get off to work shortly…

…but I realized I hadn’t posted all week. I will attempt to remedy that this evening or tomorrow morning. I have pictures from last weekend’s ‘hood gathering (stitching sister’hood’ that is), photos of my first finish for 2008 and an update on stitching this week.

One of the things I realized with a vengeance in the last few days is how much time this computer sucks down. I love reading needlework related blogs, checking out what’s new and different in the world of counted thread and staying in touch with friends and family. But it does take a lot of time out that could be spent stitching or in more productive pursuits. Sigh….Need to work on that and try to find a balance.

Right now I’m going to leave you with a quote that struck me as a great goal for 2008:

‘Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success’ –Louisa May Alcott

Have a wonderful day,

Blessings,

Juie

I am spending more time…

…getting organized to stitch than stitching. And, scarily enough, that’s the story of my life…that and bouncing down bunny trails.

Some of you know my sad story: I sit down in my comfy chair and turn on my light. Soft music is playing, my fabric and fibers are at my side, I have several hours to devote to this beautiful piece in front of me. It seems as though I’ve found a bit of Heaven right here on Earth.

Only…drat! Foiled before I even start. My 11×17 q-snaps have disappeared. I have 17×17, 11×11, 8×8 and 6×6 all in a row next to my stand, but nothing in the size I need. I have at least two pair of them, so…where can they have gotten too? Perhaps I actually put them away. Confident I can solve this mystery quickly, I turn off my light, push my chair back and venture into Fibber McGee’s closet to find said q-snaps. (Perhaps here is where I should mention I should own Rubbermaid or at least controlling shares)

I have dozens of stacked, neatly labeled bins and in no time have located the right one…the one labeled ‘Hoops, stretcher bars, q-snaps, and scroll frames‘ (No, I am not kidding!). So this should be a piece of cake, right?

WRONG!

Opening the lid, I immediately find half a q-snap pair in the right size. Half? What’s with this? Where’s the other half? Well, before anything else, I obviously need to go on a search and rescue mission. Mess ensues. But an hour later, I can claim victory. The bin is neat and I have found the rest of my q-snap.

Only…something is not quite right. In the bin that is only supposed to be for fabric stretching apparatus (apparati?), I also find the fibers for a chart I have kitted with fabric…somewhere. I remember that chart. I put it in a special place because I was missing the threads. But where? Search ensues.

Hours later, no stitching is done, but bins are much more organized. Happily, I put my appropriately sized q-snap beside my project for next time, pat myself on the back and walk away.

See why I don’t have more in the ‘finished’ column? I am a compulsive organizer when it comes to my stash. Now, lest you think you’ve got me figured, I have dust bunnies that are scary beneath my beds. But as long as they stay in their territory…well, let’s just say we have an uneasy truce. However, if they venture into my well organized stash…then there will be war.

So…you may ask…if you are so well organized why isn’t it ever just done? Bite your tongue. Why isn’t it done? Well, first of all, I need to use my stash. Threads get disarranged, I find a kit for a friend, I spill a box of buttons and decide I’d rather watch ‘Iron Chef America‘ than crawl around on a closet floor. And secondly…somehow…without really intending to, I seem to be good at adding to my stash. More to catalog, more to sort and more to put in bins. (Sometimes more bins, too)

So this year I’m resolved. Less stash buying, less stash organizing and MORE stitching.

But hold on just a gol-durned minute. Before I can resolve such a thing, I have to get organized. 🙂 So to that end, I have come up with an exhaustive WIP list, which is posted on the page bearing that title. I did this so I could be VERY aware of the folly of starting anything new.

And then, in a superb act of defiance, I also created a list of the projects I plan to start this year. 🙂 Illogic at its finest!

To balance it all and because the New Year is a time of New Hope for the Alliance…oops…that’s Star Wars. Ahem…start over….Because the New Year brings new life to old resolutions (better) , I created a page for my 2008 finishes. Ah…hope springs eternal.

And, just to keep you all posted on how successful I am at stitching as opposed to playing with my stash, I’ve created yet another page (gosh this cyber world is a wonderful place) to track my hours engaged in actually plying a threaded needle.

Can you see a pattern emerging? 🙂 Do I need serious therapy? Probably. But in the meanwhile I wish you all bright hours filled with blissful stashing and frog-less stitches.

Blessings,

Julie (recovering CSO-compulsive stash organizer)

January 4th already…

-Hospitality is not entertaining. Hospitality is an attitude of opening up your life so that others can come in. -Pam Farrel-

Wow…how the New Year is flying! Four days in and I’m behind already. 🙂 But, in the interests of keeping one of my resolutions, here I go with the first entry of the New Year.

In State news (did I use that right, DB?), I am having an unbelievably difficult time trying to figure out a rotation for this year. This needs to be resolved because if I procrastinate long enough, it will be December again. If that happens I will have spent another year in needlework disorganization purgatory and I don’t want to go there. I want to be that ‘virtuous woman’ found in Proverbs 31. Well…except for that getting up while it’s still dark part. So, rotation it is…

I know my focus project for the next month has to be the Indigo Rose Folding Cross Needle Book. Why? Because I’m teaching the assembly for the project at Guild in February. And, last I checked, I have to finish stitching the thing before I can assemble it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lovely and fun piece…but that Tailor’s Buttonhole is making me NUTS!

Also in my rotation will be my new project for the year, the Ann Holewll Sampler by Joanne Harvey. I am waiting for the kit to arrive and will be doing this as a stitch along with Ellen Chester’s group ‘With My Needle and Pen’.

After those two pieces is where I run into trouble. What to work on? The ‘Ancestral Wedding Sampler’ by Kingsland (wedding gift to my brother and his new bride), The ‘Advent Sampler’ by Mary Beale which I love, ‘Mystery X’ by Martina Weber which has been languishing for far too long…and so many others. I think I have ‘WIP-itis’. This is why I didn’t start a new project on New Year’s day. I already have enough started to make me crazy. 🙂

I also want to work some canvas into my rotation…I have a number of pieces started (surprise!) and I want to start a new Laura Perin. I love her creations.

And, last but by no means least, I want to do an ornament a month. I have this great vision…a tree all decorated in my hand worked ornaments. Can you share the vision? 🙂

So, I’ll keep you posted on the the rotation dilemma. Right now I am going to start with 10 hours on the Folding Cross Needlebook by Indigo Rose and go from there.

Today I have a day at home and I’m dismantling my tree and putting away decorations. I’m also doing a bit of stitching and catching up on blog reading.

I hope this weekend is wonderful for all!

Blessings,

Julie