Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It's a Bird, it's a Plane, IT'S A FINISH

Yes, it's true, I assembled my little Assisi bird ornament tonight (skipped dinner and stayed up past my bedtime to do it!).
That should tell you how motivated I was to mark this off the WIP list.

Gift of Stitching
June 2008


I had Susan Boyle's cd playing tonight while I was working on the assembly. I must have replayed track #6, Daydream Believer, 100 times. The verse "I could hide 'neath the wings of a blue bird while it sings", will be forever linked in my mind to this piece. What a beautiful rendition of that song she sings. If on the outside chance you don't already have her album, do yourself a favor and go get it! And when you hear track #6, I hope you think of my little blue bird.

And yes, before you ask, that is a darling little Assisi espresso cup and saucer it is sitting atop. My $4 find at a local re-sell shop (thanks again Annette!). The bottom is hand painted "Assisi". My guess is that it is a souvenir from some one's trip to Italy. I'd love to be able to find a small teapot to match it.

Before you go falling in love with this ornament and setting out to make one like it, you should know why I'm guessing I haven't seen that many octagon shaped ornaments out there. BECAUSE THEY ARE A ROYAL PITA to put together!!!! If you find centering a piece with 4 sides challenging enough, do not attempt 8 unless of course you are into S&M, whips and chains, and pay people to make you cry. Then, by all means, have at it!
You'll LOVE it!

As for me and my little blue bird, we are retiring for the evening.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Blue Monday

We've had better days.

Not my idea of a proper Derby hat, but with a little fringe and a few feathers, it could work!

Carmen would like to thank everyone for their concern and she wants to assure her girlfriends that she won't be missing their annual outing in Louisville this weekend.  Dr. Fred says with a little cream and some antibiotics on board, she'll be feeling like her onery self very soon.  She was doubly relieved to find out the bill wasn't being paid from her Fun Fund.  

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Stitcher's Day Out

It's a magical day, Stitcher's Day Out. 

Once a year, in the spring, the girls of the guild get together at a local "Heritage Farm" and spend all day stitching, catching up with one another and sharing our favorite and best recipes.  Saturday was our day.  Every year when we gather there, I feel so thankful for spring to really be upon us.  We are always treated to a young couples wedding in the little country chapel, birds seranading us all day long, much fellowship and fabulous food. 

It is normally the first such outing of the year and one that is enjoyed by many of our members.  I absolutely relish the opportunity to focus my full attention on needlework for several uninterrupted hours plus having time to just catch up with my closest friends.  At the end of the day, 10 hours feel more like 10 minutes, but I always feel like I'm on the receiving end of an incredible gift - that of time, friendship and stitching.

I made great headway on my little Assisi bird ornament and hope to have a finish picture very very soon.

As soon as the ornament is finished, I'm going to tackle those sunroom pillows!

Here's hoping your weekend was just as wonderful and stitch-filled as mine!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Happy Dance!

One small step toward fewer WIPs hanging over my head:

With the world spinning faster and faster for me these days, this is exactly the advice I need.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Box that Broke the Camel's Back

Once upon a time there was a beautiful 4 way bargello.  It wanted so badly to grace the top of a handsome wooden box.  It begged and pleaded with it's keeper until the keeper caved under the pressure and set out to make it's dream come true although she herself knew nothing about box making.  The Good Keeper trusted that the Powers that Rule the Universe would see how badly this little bargello wanted to be a box and clear all obstacles to help the box come into being.  After all, how hard could it be? Right?

Basic box elements:
A lid
A bottom

Optional box element:
A lining


So, off to the framer the Keeper trotted with Beautiful Bargello in tow.  "Do you people make boxes?" she asked.  "Well no, but it sounds like it would be fun to try!" the answer came.  Why this answer inspired confidence in the Keeper, the story does not make clear but with the utmost optimism, she left Beautiful Bargello (and a large portion of her paycheck) with the nice frame people.  After no less than 3 mini-dramas later, she had the basic box elements; a lid and a bottom:

design by: Marion Scoular

Not exaaaaaaactly a box, like with hinges, a bottom and such, but....Keeper thought it was a good start.  Then she started really thinking about it.

Here's the short list of my problems:

#1) The lid is bigger, much bigger, than the bottom

#2) The bottom has a troublesome inset where it meets the lid
#3) The bottom has no bottom, makes for a lousy holder of stuff
#4) I have found the perfect (IMHO) fabric lining

#4 might have you scratching your head wondering why I'd call it a problem.  It is a problem because up until I found the perfect fabric, I could table this conundrum of mine.  Now?  Well.   Now, I have this perfectly perfect fabric lining, so I can't table the problems any more.  The fabric is driving this whole crazy bus now and it's heading for the Expressway.  You see?

So, where to begin?  Do I have the lid reframed smaller?  Do I turn the box bottom upside down so the inset is on the bottom? (BTW, I don't like the looks of it upside down)  Do I drop back and punt?  Do I drop it in the nearest river and start from scratch? 

How do I get myself into these pickles?

I hope to spend some quality time pondering these and other mysteries of the Universe this weekend.  Hope you find some time to stitch too! 

Happy Weekend Friends!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Stitching Updates

So many WIPs, so little time...

You are now entering a "No Shame Zone".  Welcome!

#1)  Be Still:  still under construction.  Sooooo close on this one...

#2) Sunroom pillows:  three stitched, one to go, no pillows actually constructed...haven't narrowed down the possibilities for assembling these yet.

#3) Assisi peacock ornament: still loving this one but kinda tired of talking about it.  I need to GET ON WITH IT! stitch the backside and assemble this baby.

#4) Peacock Bargello box:  this is a story for another day. 

I think that's enough for a Tuesday.  What do you say we just leave the sleeping WIPs alone for the time being?  Great idea!  I'm going to focus on finishing these things before I start one more blooming thing.  Keeping in mind, I need to start my Promise Piece* very very soon.  AND, I still have a BAP patiently waiting on me.

So, without further ado, I bid you a pleasant day and hope that wherever you are, the pollen isn't as crippling as it is here! 

*Promise Piece=a piece you declare, with God as your witness, that you ARE going to finish by the November chapter meeting.  (You might also have five bucks riding on it!)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sad day in WV

By this time, everyone with a computer or tv has seen the news from the coal fields of southern WV.   It's a small world but disasters like this brings us, as West Virginians, even closer.  We get a little protective, a little clannish when the world's spotlight turns on us.  We speak with dialects, we are overweight (if you haven't heard that yet from Jamie Oliver), and we don't always look like we've stepped straight out of the beauty salon when CNN shows up.  But, we have hearts of gold, family ties, and a kinship so strong that it's hard for others, outsiders, to understand.  We can take the jokes, the jeers, the snickers because we've got a secret.  West Virginia is a special place and we are special people.   That, we know for sure.  So, please pray for the families of the lost miners and for miners everywhere.  The pain that is echoing through our small state is inconceivable.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Easter week

Popping in real quick to say I hope you all have an extraordinary weekend filled with holiday traditions and family fun.  This past week has been a blur for me.  Out of town family have been visiting but I haven't been able to take off much from work so my days have just been zipping right by me.  Actually, my weeks have been zipping right by me of late.  If the first three months of the year have been any indication, I might as well start Christmas shopping now.

No stitching updates - at all. :-(

At work, I was asked to provide a few photographs of my work city to headquarters for our national website.  I was pretty excited about it.  If nothing else, it got me out of the office for an hour.  Here are a few of the shots:

Can you see the sternwheeler in the background?

old Chesapeake and Ohio train depot

historic Alban Arts theatre on Main Street (in sepia tones)

Hope you've enjoyed this mini-tour of my small town USA. 

I promise to not come back without some stitching to share!