Sunday, February 18, 2024

The Recalcitrant Grace Bridges

 Long ago, but not so very far away, 11-year old Grace Bridges was newly arrived at Willow Winds House.  She preferred to spend her days roaming the sun-dappled meadows gathering wildflowers and following the creek that meandered through the forest behind the house.
Her au pair, Miss Crowe, however, preferred that Miss Grace spend a little more time with her lessons and a great deal more attention to her stitches.

Even on days when the fog and rain closed in on Willow Winds House so oppressively that Grace could not escape the rambling yellowstone house, Grace fidgeted in her chair and struggled to count her stitches properly.  Her mind wandered to the forgotten garden with its vines tumbling over the old shed she was told to stay away from.... It wandered to the neglected fountain that sat decaying at the end of the garden path.... It wandered to the little cove where the creek spilled into the sea....  It wandered to anywhere but the needlework in her lap.

So, it was only after months of tedious frustration on both Miss Crowe's and little Grace's parts that Grace finally finished her first sampler.... absolutely none of that is true; but, like Grace's, my mind is wandering today too.
Anyway...  I finally finished stitching Grace Bridges by Stacy Nash.  It was a stitch-along I participated in.  I think I mentioned in a previous post that stitching this piece caused a powerful struggle between my penchant for primitive wonkiness and imperfection and my tendency for bouts of OCD.  On days that my OCD was in control, complex mathematical computations were done and adjustments to spacing and design made. 

{Pattern design blurred to protect copyright of the designer, but you can see my color-coded math revision notes.}

On other days, wonky won out.

Since this was not an actual reproduction of an antique sampler (at least not that I know of), I felt entitled to make adjustments that would somewhat soothe the OCD ogre.  (Personally, I don't think even little Grace would have been that careless.  😉)

Grace Bridges Sampler stitched on 40 count "Boardwalk" by Colour and Cotton using (mostly) called-for DMC flosses.

* * * * * * *

Now Grace and I are off to look for toads along the creek.

Sunday, February 4, 2024

Hooking on the Lane


Yes, I'm here...whether I want to be or not.
Truth be told, most days I don't want to be.

That aside, and in an effort to distract myself from the endless picking up of pieces, a few weeks ago I imposed upon the resident hooker down the lane and attended one of the popular Red Barn Rugs workshops.

Unfortunately, I was neglectful in taking photos of the rugs most of the attendees were working on. In fact, I managed only to take photos of my table neighbor, Marilyn (a/k/a "Bad" Marilyn) Denning,'s rug:

While I didn't get a photo of what the other Marilyn (a/k/a "Good Marilyn") (Becker) was working on, I did get this photo of the masterpiece she recently completed of her great granddaughter:

So, the rest of the following photos are just random photos around Cathy's house and studio of a fraction of her rugs:

{This is one of Cathy's very newest designs called "Amelia."}

{I know I've shown "Ol' Jack" before, but since he was peeking through the doorway in the last photo, he deserves to be shown again...}

{Sorry for the blur!}

And my favorite:

Lastly, and only because I know Saundra (of Woodland Junction) would bug me if I didn't, here is the stag rug I was half-heartedly working on.  It is a design by Homespun Prims by Lori.

Yes, it is the same rug I started almost exactly a year ago in the last workshop I went to.  However, I decided I did not like the wool I chose for the stag and ripped it out and started over....only to rip that out and go back to the original wool...which I am still not sure I am happy with.

Such is my life these days.

Maybe I should stick with stitching.