Thursday, July 20, 2017

Throwback Thursday

When I was in graduate school, and friends got married, I made this little piece. I think I've stitched it six times. I'm not entirely sure because I let the little darlings--all mounted in boxes--go out in the wild without photographs.

One of my friends just celebrated his anniversary and posted this on Facebook to me as a reminder. They still have it 21 years later. There's a little joy knowing.

A Free Heart, Kandace Thomas

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Birthday Cake Cards

Hello, sweetums! It's a brave new world. I put on makeup today. Let's see if I can make myself pick up a needle, right?

In the meantime, I have been doing stuff. I made these cards (four of each) with my stamping friends.

All products Stampin' Up!
I'll be back on Thursday!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Getting There...

Obviously a really old photo of this.
There really are only 40 or so stitches left!
Well, that didn't last long. Just after I posted, I wrote a blog schedule for July and created a list of ideas to blog about. I was going to take the last 40 or so stitches on Wabbit's Wonder and blog a finish! But my right index finger was sore on Monday. The first joint was achy and if I pressed on the side, it was painful. On Tuesday, I woke up with a swollen finger. After the nearby urgent care wanted $105 to look at my finger, I decided to wait the four hours until my doctor's walk in hours. Four hours and $25 later...I have an infection. Don't push back your cuticles! It was horribly painful on Tuesday, but by Thursday I was cured (though still on antibiotics). Phew. But I still didn't take those last stitches!

Today, Bastille Day, is our anniversary, me and the dude. I don't have an anniversary stitch for him. {Sigh} It's not the first one I didn't finish (see Our Souls) but it is the first one I haven't even started.

I need to get my shit together people!

They say if you can imagine it, you can achieve it. Let's all imagine me back on track!

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Take a Trip with Me

At the beginning of June we went on a little trip. The dude hadn't been anywhere since December, and he needed a break. I planned a long weekend to Pittsburgh. I know it doesn't sound glamorous, but it was a great trip. I'm enamored with the city.

We visited a number of museums and the like: The Mattress Factory, Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History (great dinosaurs!), The National Aviary*, and the Andy Warhol Museum. At the latter, I took two photos for you. I always take textile photos for you!

The first is a national costume worn by Andy's mother. You can tell someone's region by the costume, but I'm only expert enough to know that much and not which area she was from. (Although it probably said somewhere on one of those little cards.)

These pants were embroidered by Claes Oldenburg's then-wife on the occasion of Warhol's first exhibition. I love that she has "exhibition" written right where it counts. (In the cabinet she's only identified as "Patty," but her name was Patty Mucha). (In fact, she sewed a lot of Oldenburg's soft sculptures.) (Which means she did the grunt work. Trained as an artist and she did the grunt work. Sigh.)

If you are looking for a good restaurant, go to Tako

On our way out of town, we went to Fallingwater. I've wanted to go for forever. It was awesome, and now I want to go to other FLW buildings. (I'm up to three including Hollyhock House and the Guggenheim Museum.) I am, however, glad I did not have to deal with Frank Lloyd Wright as my architect.

* I did not know there was a national aviary (bird zoo**) in Pittsburgh. In many of the exhibits the birds are loose and flying around you or walking right up to you. It is awesome, you should go. 

** I'm sure you don't need the help, but I kept saying we went to an aviary and people gave me the puzzled look, so I started saying bird zoo.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Half of Nothing is Nothing

I've got a bit of a tradition going to take stock on July 2, the halfway point of the year (2016, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2007). And here we are on the first day of the second half. I think you know how this has gone...
In December, I wrote:  For 2017, I'm going to stick with the rotation again, and sign up for the Smalls SAL. Maybe this year I can get even closer to 12 smalls for the year.

  1. St Nick's Noel
  2. Christian's Stocking
  3. Our Souls
  4. Forty Seven Hearts (new, anniversary present)
  5. Love Me, Love My Dog
  6. Deruta Biscornu
  7. Lapland Santa
  8. small
  9. Ladybug, Ladybug
  10. Tis the Season
I'm also going to celebrate Craft Month with the helpful input you gave me last year. 

I have stitched no smalls, done very little on the rotation, and skipped Craft Month!

I haven't even started the dude's anniversary present! (shock, horror) (Eleven days and counting!)

So here's the new plan:
July: Forty Seven Hearts
August: Christian's Stocking
September: twins' Christmas ornaments
October: Go back to the three-day rotation (above)
November: New project every day for NaBloPoMo
December: Three-day rotation

I'm also sketching out a plan to blog twice a week. And make the rounds to you regularly as well.

I have been stamping and making jewelry. Here's a pic to hold you:

Monday, May 15, 2017

Cross-Stitch Donation

Friends, I am sorry that I haven't been around to read and comment or to even answer your comments which I know is very bad form but I am having a difficult year. But enough about me...

An old friend recently lost her father, and as she goes through the things he collected in this life she is trying to find the right people for the stuff. She recently came upon a couple of boxes of cross stitch books and pamphlets. She surmises he picked them up at a yard sale, as was his habit. She doesn't want to send everything off to Goodwill, but she is hoping there is a group, perhaps one doing good works, who might be interested.  (I think she wants to handle this in bulk rather than become an ebay seller or the like.)

Please comment if you have any ideas!

I'll be back, friends, I know I will.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Reading Not Stitching

As I've said I've been reading. This is good news for the sad, sad number of books I've been averaging per year but bad news for the stitching. I haven't taken a stitch since February! This is what I've read so far this year. I've given a star rating out of five. (You will see that sometimes a Pulitzer Prize winner gets the same number of stars as a memoir or mystery. I am judging the books against their type rather than each other.)

January 9 The World's Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family, Josh Hanagarne (****) A memoir by a librarian with Tourette's, a love story to books and libraries. A conversational and funny exploration of how Hanagarne tries to control his Tourette's.

January 11 The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead (****) A great many echoes of African American literature haunted my reading of this book. Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, for example, shows up in the movement from place to place signifying historical moments. While Ellison's work is about alienation, Cora seeks to find community because in doing so she will mark her own humanity. (Lots of reviewers compare Cora's stay in the attic to Anne Frank, but y'all Harriet Jacobs (Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl) stayed in an attic for seven years while escaping slavery.) I read this book for a book group, and I liked it much better after I had the chance to talk about it.

January 23 Normal, Warren Ellis (**) I really didn't enjoy this one. I didn't think it was well-written, and I wasn't that interested in it. Sci Fi is not my thing.

January 23 Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us About Health and the Science of Healing, Barbara Natterson-Horowitz (****) The big thesis of this book, that physicians can learn about human medicine by reading the work of veterinarians could have been handled in a short academic paper. What I found so interesting about this book were the fascinating examples and ties between the human and other animals. If you have a medical or scientific background, you might not enjoy it as much as I did.

January 25 Ceremony, Leslie Marmon Silko (****) I read this for a book group, and it wasn't clear how it met the theme of the club, but it was a beautifully written exploration of the lives of Native American WWII vets.

February 1 Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal (***) I was fascinated, but then again, I'm fascinated by the pictures I get biennially of my colon.

February 9 Touchstone, Laurie R. King (****) I was charmed by Harris Stuyvesant, the lunkish-appearing American detective gallivanting through the country houses of England. Deftly plotted.

February 10 A Long Way Home (***) What a remarkable story. Although there was a lot of repetition, it was utterly compelling.

February 14 Is Everyone Hanging Out without Me? Mindy Kaling (**) Light and fluffy. I haven't really seen Kaling in anything, so I wasn't particularly attached to her as a writer or actress.

February 20 Pretty Little World, Elizabeth LaBan and Melissa DePino (***) Great beach read. I loved the ending, where we find some nice, perhaps philosophical, conclusions. What we gain--and give up--living communally.

February 26 The Bones of Paris, Laurie R. King (***) The sequel to Touchstone, good read. This book was not as well-plotted nor the characters as well-drawn as the first in the series.

March 5 The Book of Speculation, Erika Swyler (****) Um, I meant to read The Department of Speculation but this speculation was really very good. A librarian, a book, a family mystery, and an old house crumbling into the sea. Enjoyable.

March 9 The Zookeeper's Wife, Diane Ackerman (***) This book needed a judicious editor, but the story of the family--which I am sure is the only part that ended up in the movie--was captivating though harrowing. But there was far too many asides...seriously at one point she's talking about one of the friends of the Zabinskis who was an entomologist who gave his bug collection to a museum and I think she names all 30,000 bugs. Individually, with nicknames and dates of birth. It got in the way.

March 18 The Moor's Account, Laila Lalami (****) This books was so imaginative--the historical representation of a slave on an ill-fated expedition in Florida in the 16th century. Marvelous.

April 19 Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates (*****) Beautifully written. How different the world is for people. You may think we are all living in one America, an equal America, some sort of meritocracy, but Coates demonstrates powerfully that we are not.

Started, will not finish
The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight, Thom Hartmann This was assigned for my work book club, with the theme of sustainability. I had so many objections to this book, as did my group. Anyway, I couldn't finish it in time for the group, and I refuse to finish thereafter.

Started, will finish
Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation, Andrea Wulf I started this on my trip (Kindle edition) but the book expired and I had too many other books to read on deadline (for three book clubs) that I just couldn't get to it. I'll re-borrow it this summer.

EcoMind: Changing the Way We Think, to Create the World We Want by Frances Moore Lappe This was also for the sustainability book group. I felt so bad about hating Last Hours so much, I read a little less critically. Still, this book is much less all-or-nothing than some environmental books about how we should be living our lives. (I'm very close on this one.)

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, Siddhartha Mukherjee. I was listening to this one on audio and there was a horrible skip in it. So I am waiting for a new edition.

The Mothers, Brit Bennett. I couldn't get into this book at first, so I missed the book group meeting. But eventually I grew to be interested in the characters and the gossipy mothers who begin each chapter. Still, I might have to put it aside to read the last book for my sustainability book group.

I am planning a trip to the stitching store this weekend. I am going to buy what I need to stitch the anniversary sampler. I'm hoping that will get me back into stitching.