Friday, September 15, 2017


Look what I made! Christian's Stocking by Shepherd's Bush with the called for materials. I am just waiting now for the bling to arrive.

I kept meaning to blog but I was making such good headway...almost there...almost there... and at last!

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

A Small Haul

On Saturday, I headed out to procure the last of the perle cotton threads that I need for the stocking. Of course, while I was at Strawberry Sampler, some other nonessential items jumped into the proverbial cart. As you can see from the photo, I found my new Cozzolino Santas--Pirates of the Caribbean Santas. Although I do choose to stitch on these from time to time, I have about 30 Santas waiting for me. This is one of the projects that is on my list for retirement. The good news is that I am buying the kits while I have income!

I saw the Teresa Kogut sheep, For Ewe, in a shop newsletter, and I liked it enough in person to purchase it. But I do have a fondness for sheep that belies my semi-suburban upbringing. Sometimes I don't buy primitive patterns because I think they are too simple, but there is something about the way this sheep is peeking out from the side of the pattern that slays me.

I have been looking for the Prairie Schooler New World Sampler since I stitched on it as part of a round robin back in 2006. Okay, I'll admit I wasn't thrilled with it when I first saw it, but I fell in love with that crazy whale! I'm glad that some of these PS patterns are being re-released.

My last purchase isn't shown in this photo, but will feature in an upcoming blog post. Stay tuned!

Friday, September 01, 2017

Try to Remember that Time in September

How in the ever-loving fuck did it get to be September? It's all real today. I went to the Co-op for lunch and it was swarming with students and faculty and probably some townies who have been at the shore all summer. It's true, people, we do not have the Ville to ourselves any more. Fall fell.

That also means it is time to evaluate my August goals and set new ones. As promised, I focused on Christian's Stocking so that I can get the set finished professionally. I did not finish, and I'm still missing a thread, but I shall persist!

September Goals:
  1. Finish Christian's Stocking
  2. Bling all four stockings: Christian, Mary, Charland, and Sadie
  3. Send to finisher
  4. Stitch Tada Santa and Tada Snow Guy (Amy Bruecken Designs)
  5. Read Scribe of Siena for Books on Tap (9/19)

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

String and Beads

Even though I hadn't stitched much this summer year, I did stop by The Bead Garden a couple of times. I took two classes where I picked up a needle. (One had to be a makeup class because I totally forgot I had signed up for the bracelet. Sheesh.)

First, we have the "Himalayan Brick Stitch Necklace." I have no idea what makes it Himalayan. This will become a necklace once I add the chain. As I wondered around the shop, I got the bug to do something. There is something about seeing a lot of color in one place that makes me want to create! 

I also took the Super Striped Herringbone Bracelet class, well, I had a private tutorial. I'm about 2/3 of the way through this one, but it's been so long I fear I might have forgotten when I was doing.

The good news is it was during these trips to the shop that I found someone help take care of Stella! Since I started working outside the home almost four years ago now (!)--actually since, about a year into the job when Stella got semi-kicked out of daycare--I have been racing home at lunchtime three days a week to let the dog out. She could probably hold it all day, but that seems so cruel. (There were some times I just had to do it, and she was fine but I was not!) This racing home did put a crimp in my lunchtime--it's 18 minutes each way. Plus I only had two days a week to have lunch with my friends. Fortunately, I met Nicole, an uber-beader,  who lives and works in my neighborhood, and lets dogs out at lunchtime.

When she came over to meet Stella, who is a really amazing guard dog, it started out a little rocky. So we took a walk; this always has a remarkable effect on Stella's ability to understand who a person is and how they belong. After the walk she was giving Nicole kisses and being an angel. It is such a great relief to have my lunchtimes back and a caring person looking after the pooch. Now I just need to figure out what to do with that hour!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Christian's Stocking

I noticed that Hinterland had some new episodes. (They've probably been new for ages.) So the dude and I have been spending some time watching. That and the drive to Maine gave me quite a lot of time to stitch this stocking for Jersey. If I can get it done by October, and I hope to, I can have these finished for my sister's family this Christmas.

Alas, I have found another missing color. It shows up in several of the parts I have already stitched--the hearts, the dingbats on the bottom of the stocking, Santa's cape. And somehow, I've also lost the brown of his skin. There are maybe five stitches in his face! Maybe I put it in the Mary's Stocking project bag? I shall look tonight.

This is how we left it last November.

Will continue to work on it next week. Wish me luck!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Maggie Monday - A Special Visit

We were up in Maine last week--okay we came home last Monday--and that return was followed by back-to-back work retreats. (And there's another one this week!) So I'm just now getting around to reporting that I visited with Maggie*. She's still living la vida loca heading out to her local haunt two nights a week for her martini, although her legs are slowing down and her vision is worsening. 

Maggie: Come here and show me your face.
Me: [puts my face three inches from her good eye]
Maggie: Oh, that's you! So tell me, are you fat or skinny?
Me: [glances over to my mother]
Mother: [gives me the "tell the truth" look] (because she believes in The Truth over all else.)
Me: I'm fat. [Puts her hand on my leg.]
Maggie: Now that's a LEG.

Maggie forever!
Last month I had hoped to complete the dude's annual anniversary piece, but I didn't start it until the end of the month. Still, it's begun. This is 47 Hearts by Silver Creek. I'm using the called-for colors on a fabric of some sort. Sorry about the fold.

I've been working on Christian's Stocking as I prescribed for August. Stay tuned!

*If you haven't met my 95 year old grandmother, you can read about some of her antics:
An Introduction (last para)

Thursday, August 10, 2017


This year at Cookbook Club, I decided I would try new things that I have thought were too difficult in the past. In part, I was motivated by this post at Chocolate and Zucchini, "A Bucket List for Cooks."

Here, you can see I conquered, No. 33 "Make your own crust for a tart, quiche, or pie." I made a crust for this tart (Sara Moulton's Everyday Family Dinners) and a quiche (Mastering the Art of French Cooking). This is "Joanne's New and Improved Blueberry Tart," about 1/4 of the blueberries are cooked down to goo and fresh berries are stirred into it. I love it so much more than regular fruit pie. (I hate the goo for some reason.) Oh wait, I also did an onion tart (even more tart-y than this one, which I find very pie-ish) for Alice Water's The Art of Simple Food.

I did the quiche twice because the dude and I got confused about which week it was. We ate a lot of very rich quiche those two weeks. So I feel pretty confident about my pie crust.

I also decided I should try working with filo dough. Everyone says it is so difficult that I just never have. I decided to make tiropita when we did Greek Revival: Cooking for Life. If you know spanikopita, tiropita is spanikopita without the spinach. (Yes, plain cheese!) I made little triangles. Of pure cheesy deliciousness! And also, working with filo isn't on the cook's bucket list because it's not that hard.

I have also checked off "Make caramel." I made it for Caramelized Banana Rum Ice Cream (from The Everything Ice Cream, Gelato, and Frozen Desserts Cookbook). Yes you caramelize the bananas, and you stick toffee chunks in it, but the ice cream is caramel flavored.

I think "Make a laminated dough" may be next. The dude and I were awfully fond of Danish danishes.