A Bit of a Hint!

Does this help? I’m leaving on a jet plane tomorrow as I head east and meet up with Meredith Willett, Phillipa Turnbull and 17 other anxious stitchers on A Crewelwork Company Tour.

Scotland Highland and Island Tour which begins in Edinburgh and will eventually end there too. So excited! And I’m about 95% packed and ready to go!

I’m going to blog about it, but depending on how the iPad and technology behave, it may not be till I get back. My crack webmaster is updating the blog role, so you will have immediate connection to Phillipa’s Blog and also trying to figure out why, depending on what device you read the blog on, that some pictures post sideways?!

Leave you with AlleyCat and I stitching!

Okay, Just Where does the Time Go to anyway?

Seriously, where does it go? I noticed the other day that it’s been 2 months at the very least since my last blog. Karen at the new and even more fabulous M’s Canvashouse in Lexington, Kentucky reminded me when I was there that it’s been awhile. And that was over a month ago!

Really the first chance you have you should run, not walk to the new and improved M’s Canvashouse and take a class with the Divine Ms. M! You know she is pretty amazing and you will have such a good time and learn a lot too! I’m not sure what is more amazing, Meredith or the new shop?!

This is the canvas that I selected “Vespers” artwork by Dominic Bourbeau for Tapestry Fair. We really worked out the entire canvas and have all my stitches to finish it! I am thrilled with everything that we selected! Sad thing is I have not been able to work on it as I have been doing some time sensitive stitching for a long distance customer. But that is now finished!

Then Meredith came to a sold out class at the Needle Nook of La Jolla. I kicked off her birthday week with the delicious gateau Aileen from Michelle Coulon Bakery in La Jolla.

Knowing Meredith’s love for bumblebees, I couldn’t resist buying some of these lemon tarts! She really wanted to take some home with her, but I didn’t think the meringue would hold up! These came from another great bakery “Sugar & Scribe.”

orchid and passport

And just why is my passport out? Well stay tuned as I head out on a world wind trip… which I will blog about. It may not be though till I get back, depending on internet connections.

It’s always tough leaving her behind, but Rose her “cat nanny” thinks AlleyCat is very sweet (she has you fooled!) and she is well taken care of.

Ode to Woad Deuxieme Partie

Last I left you, I was talking about the woad dying that we were doing last year on our trip to France! I did promise you pictures in case you were curious (or not as the case maybe.) So here they are. My piece is the very long one with the cut work, which I am absolutely thrilled with it! Also in the picture on the right hand side, the small square is mine and that’s not so special. But if I were to do it again, I know exactly what to look for to dye.

So why deuxieme partie? Although part in English and in French sometimes have the same meaning, “part” is not the right word for saying part two…according to Google. Correct way to say it would be “partie deux”or even better would be “deuxieme partie.” I do need a punctuation mark over one of the e’s, but don’t know how to do that on the iPad.

Well that was last year and this years trip is already a memory as I got back Wednesday morning around 1am pacific time. My travel day started at 3am Provence time when we needed to get up so we could be on the road by 4:30am. I’ll let you do the math and remember there’s a 9 hour difference. I had delays, late flights, missed connections because of it and on and on. I should be happy that I did get home as AlleyCat was waiting for her very late snack as originally I should’ve be home by 6pm. Plus I needed to go into work for payroll and on top of that we were starting with a new company…OMG!

So the last two mornings I’ve been wide, did I say WIDE awake at 2am. I tried both nights to stay up to regular bd time, but it didn’t happen! Yesterday I just lounged in bed till the time to get up for work, and then realized I really needed to stay home for the day. Which I did which made for a very happy kitty! This morning I’m doing laundry and unpacking and doing a little blog.

So this was AlleyCat on top of me for most of the day. A few people commented on Facebook that she was giving me the cold bum, but she was just watching tv with me!

Ode to Woad!

The last quadrant of the Souvenirs de France was the upper left section called “Ode to Woad.” It rather eluded me as first of all I was concerned that if I didn’t count the Rhodes stitches correctly, it would need a lot of restitching. And then the fabulous sequence of stitches that Tony designed, what if I? Well you know all of that self doubt that we all have. Much to my surprise it all fell into place just as he designed it. I was thrilled to say the least!

So you ask what is Woad? Well let me tell you! Woad is a yellow-flowered plant of the cabbage family. Grown as a source of blue dye extracted from the leaves after they have been dried, powdered and fermented.

Before we left for our trip, we were told to bring some piece of fabric, clothing, etc with us to dye. I really didn’t have time to look for anything, but I was reassured that we would find something at one of the brocantes or flea markets that we would attend. I was told that they do like to barter, but this gentleman that had this linen that I wanted, well he was hearing nothing of it. I did pay his 8-10€ and glad that I did!

A very fun day that we had with this lady dying our fabrics as you submerged it a vat of Woad water. When you looked at the fabric in the water, it looked yellow, but the very moment it hit the air, it turned blue. So the longer you left it in the water, or the number of times you placed it in the dye vat, the darker it became. After you got the color that you liked, it was hung on a clothes line to dry. And then laundered. I still have to figure out what to do with my piece, which is a table runner with lots of cut work. I just remembered that I didn’t get that picture for you…next time!

So you wonder what the glass container that’s full of threads in front of my piece? It’s a crystal jar that I bought at a brocante specifically for my orts. I should probably add a few beads to it.

Headed back to the south of France 🇫🇷 soon with Tony Minieri led by Frances Jue for another stitching trip, so it’s time to look for another one!

AlleyCat loves sitting on my lap while I’m sitting here stitching or working on my blog.

Third Time is Really the Charm!

Last time I left you, I was talking about the the 3rd time being the charm with the blog and I’m still saying it, but now with my stitching.

Check out where I was last time with my Souvenirs de France and I’m thrilled about how much I’ve been able to get done! My “sistah” Meredith Willett has always said you’d be surprised how much you can accomplish if you can only stitch an hour or so a night. Sometimes that’s all I have, except for an occasional Sunday when I can stitch most of the day. When you work ( or maybe I should say “when I work 6 days a week”) that with my 1 day off that at times I need to do stuff around the house, laundry, errands or just be lazy, so the stitching suffers.

This piece was designed by Tony Minieri to commemorate our trip to the South of France last year with Frances Jue as our host. We visited a hat factory on our trip, hence the hat and below that is a French ribbon that Tony is so famous for designing. To the left of the ribbon is the crest of the town that we were in and that’s where the 3rd time was really the charm! I struggled with the red area as I couldn’t count, then figured out I really still couldn’t count and then I had a dyelot issue with my Soie d’Alger 935. I still need to tweak a red stitch or two to get the right slant. Last quadrant is fondly titled “ode to woad” which was fabric dyeing that we did in big vats. What a very fun day! Woad is a natural dye that is blue and next time I will need to share with you my table runner.

I will finish up my Souvenirs de France with a beaded Fleur de Lis in the center. It was designed with our initial in the center, but I will do this instead. I will probably need to brick bead it as I need a center thread instead of a center hole.

I had set a self-imposed finish deadline for myself. To the framers before we leave for France again (with Tony & Frances again) in a few short weeks, but I won’t make it to the framers before I leave. We are headed to Provence this time with lots of sightseeing scheduled and a bit of stitching. So looking forward to it!

I treated myself of to a new orchid for Easter. For me it’s sort of like a new canvas as I look for a different coloration that I don’t have, so this fit the bill. Almost all of my orchids are in bloom or sprouting bloom spikes which for me is the first time I’ve had this many blooming! Just thrilled.

AlleyCat is as always right in the middle of everything, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Maybe the 3rd Time is the Charm!

Well they say that’s true? I tried blogging a few weeks ago and wasn’t able to do anything as I was getting timed out?! Come to find out my router was not recognizing my password, so after a phone call to the help desk, the young man walked me through a reboot and a reset. Just like new! But then I didn’t have time to blog as I was headed out of town in a few days.

So now I thought I would give it a shot and this format I use, always had an automatic save…well not tonight! I was trying a new way with loading pictures and well need I say more? It all disappeared! So I am hoping that the 3rd time is really the charm!

Last time I left you, we were talking New Years resolutions…well I was anyway! I have finished 2 strawberries and 2 ornaments so far. I am working away on my piece that Tony Minieri designed for us on our stitching trip to France last year.

You might notice that I am being properly supurr~vised by AlleyCat. She really is very good and just sleeps on my lap, doesn’t bother my threads, but just don’t move! I am working on this quadrant with the hat which was our “Souvenir de France” of the hat factory that we went to outside of Toulouse, France.

This is the entire piece. I would love to finish this before we go back to the south of France at the end of May.

My other resolution was hoping that my orchids would rebloom and they have sure been doing that! I can really take no credit for that and will just thank Mother Nature.

Speaking of Mother Nature, take a look at our super bloom!

Just magnificent isn’t it? That’s thanks to all the rain we had!

AlleyCat send her best meows to you!

What’s New Pussycat?

How’s your New Years Resolutions doing? I’ve given up saying that I’m going to lose weight, save more money, blah, blah, blah. How about you? I want more blooming orchids! And it looks like I have a few that are going to do just that soon.

After following a feed on Facebook with many of my stitching friends that set their sights on wanting to finish 19 projects in ‘19, I became motivated! I wish them happy stitching and hope that they make their goal. I know that there is no way I can do that much with as much as I work at the shop. So I’m going for 9.5 in 19. A mixture of ornaments, strawberries from Barbara’s Needlepoint in South Dakota and a few of my large pieces. Including Bastet the Cat that I started ages ago and closest to being finished, the Perfume Bottles with stitch guide by Susan Portra, Merrybright Emporium with stitch guide by Sherry Bray and last but least is the piece that we started stitching with Tony Minieri in France.

AlleyCat was hard at work supurr~vising today as I was working on a stitch guide for the shop. I just really need more time in my day. Maybe that could be my New Years resolution?! To create more time in my day. I really manage my time well and don’t waste much of it. Let’s see this morning I went out to breakfast, came home and moved my Christmas from the house into storage, shopped for kitty food, paper supplies, came home and did housework, laundry and watered the orchids. A few had to be sent to orchid heaven as one was overwatered and the other was getting “stuff” on it, and didn’t want it to travel to the others. Plus this is a good excuse to buy a few more!

Now I’ll settle in for a night of stitching and tv watching. This is when it’s that time of the year to say that I’ll see you in a few months. First headed to Oregon at the end of the month for my birthday weekend, then it’s off to Blue Bonnet stitching retreat a few weeks later and to end up with our big event at the shop, so no time to blog.

Happy stitching!

Happy New Year!

They’ve, or should I say WordPress has changed the way my blog functions, well for me anyway, so it’s been somewhat challenging as I stumble through it. I guess maybe if I blog more, it will become easier for me. Maybe that should be one of my New Year’s resolutions?! What do you think?

Do you have any resolutions yet? I’ve been reading lots of ideas on Facebook, where as one was “19 in 19.” Nineteen new or already started, needlepoint that is, in all sizes. Depending on what you pick, that could be very aggressive or a snap! I’ve got 4-5 ornaments that are close, so that would give me a great start. I would love to finish the piece that we started in France with Tony Minieri, but then for me it always depends on the shop and how much I work.

Speaking of finishes, this was my latest larger than an ornament piece!

It is a charted design that was in Needlepointers magazine about 10 years ago by Chottie Alderson. It was piece that I always wanted to stitch and when I stumbled on it in the Needlepoint Nation Stash Exchange on Facebook, I snapped it up! I thank the stitcher for parting with it and it has found a very good home.

When I took it to New Creations Picture Framing in San Marino, we really had a hard time finding just the right color frame. I said well why couldn’t we do 4 colors? Never for a moment did I think that they would take me seriously, well they did! And I’m thrilled with the way it came out. The pink cat was extremely challenging and I had to stitch it 2 or 3 times, so that one we’re calling AlleyCat…

My stitching assistant all settled in with me for some stitching time. AlleyCat and I both wish you a Happy New Year and here’s to great stitching in 2019!

Do you Believe in Santa?

Well I do! Not in the actual person of Santa Claus, but the feeling that he brings. Yes I do understand what the reason of the season is all about, but I love the lights, the decorating, the gift giving, getting to see my sister and family! and the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve as my brother-in-law Michael goes all out. This too will be the first time in maybe 15 years that both of my nieces will be home for Christmas!

Usually my sister and I go into a cookie baking frenzy, but I’m thinking this year there may not be time based on when I get there and my nieces arrive. Well maybe next year we will bake twice as many! 

I love decorating, but once I’m finished with the shop, I really don’t do much at home. Not that I’m a Scrooge (actually far from that!) but there is just no time or energy. So I guess since I’m not putting up a tree, I won’t have to worry about herself knocking it over!

This is herself, better known as AlleyCat having way too much fun with the empty tube from the wrapping paper. She absolutely loves and makes me laugh with her bunny kicks! Such a silly girl she is.

Speaking of wrapping, all of my gifts this year, well lets say 99% were purchased on my trip through the south of France and Paris! I sure did lots of reminiscing as I wrapped remembering what a fabulous trip it was! This oil painting was a present to myself which is so Paris, between the bicycles and the magnificent doorways. And of course with the cat in the window, I just had to have it! I bought this when we visited Montmartre, a highlight of the trip in Paris!

I actually knew ahead of time where I wanted to hang it. Just a purr~fect fit and it’s right across from my stitching spot!

Here’s hoping that Santa brings you everything that you wished for this year! 

A Time…

to give thanks. For all we have, family, friends, my AlleyCat, stitching and so much more.

This picture of said cat was just of several that I was able to capture that day as she was… and to this day I’m still not sure what she was up to? She started at one end of the table and worked her way down, all the while never trying to jump up on the table!

Another to add to be thankful for list, is all of you who come in the shop and comment about my blog, or lack there of. I have great intentions, but I really do work way too many hours and just run out of time! Speaking of blog reading, have you discovered Jonathan’s blog yet? https://jonathansembroidery.blogspot.com He attends ANG seminar with his lovely wife JaneBeth mostly when it’s being held on East Coast or even Midwest. It’s a long flight from Scotland! I’m envious as he was able to see the amazing collection of samplers from the Leslie Durst collection at one of the museums in Scotland.

What are your plans for Thanksgiving? For those of you have followed me for years, know that I normally go to Missy’s for the big holiday bake-off…but not this year. I’m headed elsewhere to combine Thanksgiving and celebrating Betty’s 100th birthday! Yes! She’s sharp, still stitches and lives by herself in her own home…now if that’s not something to be thankful for, I don’t know what is! If you get Needlepoint Now …and why wouldn’t you? Make sure you read Elizabeth’s “Musings” which is all about Betty.

I guess I’ve rambled on enough and I need to get moving as I have lots to do before I come home to start packing!

I usually bring these used bags home from the shop for recycling… do you think she counts as that? Only kidding! Happy Thanksgiving to you!