Wednesday, July 20, 2016


Eating: Pistacchiosa-We first had this treat at Di Bruno Brothers After Hours (a treat for the dude's birthday) where the cheese mongers make you unusual and tasty bites. They drizzled this spread (it's sort of a loose nut butter) over Gouda. When the dude asked how else it might be used, they mixed some triple creme brie into the spread and dolloped it on Italian shortbread cookies. You can put it on toast or in your eggs. This stuff is amazing.
Drinking: Oh, yes I am. More than usual.

Wearing: I bought this navy blue shirt dress at Macy's...for the flamingos. It's perfectly suited for the disgustingly hot and sticky weather we've been having.

Feeling: Tired. It's the work...

Wanting: Cooler temps so the dog and I could go on longer walks.

Needing: Another vacation!

Enjoying: Shaun the Sheep. Ever since the Brexit vote, the dude's been insisting we watch a few episodes on the regular. Very comforting in a cruel, cruel world.

Thinking: Trying not to, frankly.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Just One July--Mary 3

I am making progress on Mary. Progress is incremental, I have to remind myself of that. If you look at Mary on July 1, I've made a lot of progress. I just get so impatient when I focus on one piece. "Isn't this thing done yet?" I ask myself over and over.

I know the world is on fire--and that's breaking my heart--but work has also been extra-stressful since there's been a major reorganization with firings and silos disappearing and demotions (well, layers being added to the org chart). My group's new admin is openly searching for jobs while she's at work in her cubicle. (I don't think our group is that bad, but whatevs.) And there's continued uncertainty because someone they clearly want to promote is out on maternity leave, so the new group she will lead hasn't been reformed. Anyway, giant shitshow. So yesterday, I came home from my half-day Friday and just stitched. Because...stitching. Today might be the same.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Finish Work

On Friday, I started a bit of cleaning in the craft room. I came across these Mill Hill Santas. I had chosen floss for hangers and felt for backing and it was all in a pile together, but that's as far as I'd gotten. I had a moment debating whether I should put it all away (boo!) or just finish it already. It went on the to-do list.

Last night, after Cookbook Club* and a quick tidy up, I flopped on the couch too tired to tackle her royal PITA, Mary's Stocking. Glue and scissors, somehow, I could handle. Now I have four new ornaments to add to the tree. Clockwise, from top left, Polar Santa - Glacier Santa; Woodland Santa - Frosty Santa; Olde Time Santa - Grandfather Frost (not Mill Hill); and Tropical Santa - Hawaiian Santa. As always, these are fun to stitch and easy to finish.

Looking at these, I realize how haphazardly I approach the sets. (I have all the MH kits, except Renaissance Santas, which just came out.) I've only stitched one Polar Santa, but two Woodland Santas, one Tropical Santa but 5/7 of the Olde Time Santas.** There are 19 Mill Hill sets.  I also have the first Yarn Tree series; some of the early Astor Place series, Bucilla series, and Janlynn series; one offs she did for magazines, and a couple of leaflets featuring her Nutcracker Santas from Imaginating. How does she do it?! (You can find a complete list through 2005 here.) (The Silver Needle has a comprehensive list--all available for sale--of the Mill Hill Santas after 2005.) (That's not clear. If you want a list after 2005, go there, but she has all--since 1998--for sale.)

Anyway, you know what I'll be stitching in my retirement!

*Sheila Lukins USA Cookbook, I made Lemon Zucchini Loaf and the dude made Laurie's Winter Lemon Ice Cream, which Lukins suggested to serve together, and!

** Yarn Tree has several sets of the Olde Time Santas. Only the first series involved Sandra Cozzolino, even though she mostly designed the others (coughrippedoffcough) So they're the only ones I have. Except for the Santa Riding a Chicken from the second series. Because Santa. Riding a chicken!

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Just One July - A Plague

The situation with Mary is not getting better. I had to stitch that last vertical stripe in her dress twice. And the whole vine went in and came back out. This project is cursed! It's not just having to rip it, it's a plague of frogs. I let you know when the locusts show up. (Stitching along with Justine for Just One July.)

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Mary, Mary Quite Contrary

The holiday weekend allowed me quite a bit of stitching time. (Though I also spent time in the garden. Remind me never to leave my garden in May again!) I keep discovering crazy color mistakes. The first one was that I stitched those vertical stripes one shade lighter than they should have been (corrected). Now I realize that arm should be outlined in ecru, not green. Sigh. Onward!

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Halfway Mark

July 2 marks the halfway point to the year. It is a good time to take stock of my overall goals from January.

I'm going to use the "Molly Rotation" where I focus on 10 pieces for three days each over the course of every month (except March and November) to try to complete some of the things I've started over the last few years. I'm not calling a number this year. I'm going to stick to my rotation and see where I get.
Here's the plan:

  1. Waldorff, Homespun Sampler
  2. Hawaiian Santa, Mill Hill
  3. Lighthouse, Bent Creek
  4. Our Souls, Midsummer Night Designs
  5. Greenland Santa, Mill Hill
  6. Anniversary Sampler
  7. Winter Row, Bent Creek
  8. Sadie's Stocking, SB
  9. Small #1
  10. Tis the Season, Blackbird
I've signed up again for the Smalls SAL, and my goal is to come out with twelve new smalls. (I think I can!)
First up, the smalls. I do have six even though I only posted to the SAL five times: January, February, March, April, May, June.

As for the rotation, April and May were pretty abysmal. I spent April recovering from Craft Month; in  early May I was stitching a graduation gift and in late May I was travelling (with some projects not on the list!). But I did do a couple of solid months of rotation stitching, and finished Hawaiian Santa, Lighthouse, the anniversary sampler, Winter Row, and Sadie's Stocking. I also started and finished a graduation gift.
I've already finished as many pieces as I did last year! What will the next half of the year bring?

Friday, July 01, 2016

Hello, July!

Heart in Hand's Woodland Peace ornament kit was my small for June, although I did finish it in July. It was just one of those months. (Even my grandmothers' cookies were made in June but sent in July.) I did enjoy stitching this; the fabric was silky, the colors were bright and fantastic, and it stitched up pretty quickly!

Goals for June:
I went with a half month rotation:
June 13-15 Our Souls--just a few flowers

June 16-18 Cinnamon Stars--nearly finished the center of the house and one side of the roof
June 19-21 Greenland Santa--just a few stitches, but that's how things are finished
June 22-24 Small #6--finished (above)
June 25-27 Mary's Stocking--no
June 28-30 Tis the Season--no

Overall, not bad. I also got some stitching done at the beginning of the month.

Goals for July:
I'm going to join Justine for Just One July. I'm combining with my traditional Christmas in July, so I'll be working on Mary's Stocking from Shepherd's Bush.

Here's where I'm starting.

This post is linked to Heather's Smalls SAL. You can get more information there or if you click the graphic in the sidebar. You can join at any time.