Friday, October 31, 2003


Seems between the day job and trying to catch up on model stitching and getting new designs out and doing proposals I've been working flat out 14 hours a day FOREVER.

That does it. The MTA and the Grocery Workers are still on strike - this mature person is taking a day off, thank you very much. Biscuits for breakfast tomorrow, trashy novels and TV with no socially advancing purpose whatsoever.

Want something? See my negotiator, film at 11:00

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Will wonders never cease. Here I sit at the boring day job eating a boring salad for lunch with nothing to do but surf for embroidery.

embroidery + salad = hat

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Thursday, October 30, 2003


I'm not up for fiddling with changing much on my blog site, but look at what Su has done for me!!! Trillions and Trillions of thanks.

Now back to model stitching and taking out the garbage.

More later on the story of a traveling embroidery that belongs to Carole and my $.02 worth on the Art vs. Craft debate that is never ending.

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We've enticed another blogger. My dear friend Sabrina aka Robin is blogging!!! Can't wait to see all she says. She's a super teacher, stitcher and historian.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2003


Celtic W finished - yes I know it's a quirky shape but why shouldn't I have the same artistic license as some monk who liked to twiddle and fiddle with forms. Also, almost finished one of the doors models -- should be finished by tonight. Thanks to Su who got my blogshares listing sorted out. If you click on the button at the bottom of the page you can set up a blogshares account in a fantasy stock market (it only deals in blog shares) and can invest in my blog.

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Sunday, October 26, 2003


Not a very "needlework" weekend although I've been working on the models of a door and twiddled a V for the Celtic Set. I know very well that J and V were not featured letters in early alphabets but we modern stitchers seem to want them. Laundry and other mundane things seemed to keep me rather busy today. I am getting some of my research notes in order from these last two trips. Mostly the National Art Library this time.

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Saturday, October 25, 2003


Happier with the Celtic U so only five more letters to go. Now to work on proposals for Rockome for the rest of the weekend.

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Friday, October 24, 2003


Beginning to get on a normal schedule. Slept until 4:30 a.m. WOW! Changing time zones by 8 hours takes me about a week to adjust. Picked up one of the Doors models last night for the first stitching in about 3 weeks. Figured out the dates for our London Tour next year. In case anyone is interested Ally Pally is scheduled for October 7-10 in 2004. CATS in Hershey October 23-29 and EGA National October 23-29. The High Holy Days are in September in 2004 - so no conflict.

Got the Celtic U started - well finished but I'm not happy with it so - back to the drawing board.

Off to the BORING day job today, but then catching up around here this weekend.

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Thursday, October 23, 2003


For the month of July 2005 - I'll be in Cumbria exhibiting one-off stuff with a friend Nick Gosswinn in a two-person show. The UK is quite amenable to embroidery as art. You even sell pieces as art at exhibitions. People pay money for it, take it home and hang it on their walls. What a concept!!!!!!!

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Wednesday, October 22, 2003


While we were recently at Harrod's for afternoon tea (a stop on our needlework tour) a discussion ensued as to the method of making clotted cream (not a staple item in US markets). When I returned home I was surfing for the instructions and came across a truly great site for foodies.

All sorts of conversion information as well as recipes.

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Every once in a while one has to just have a hissie fit about "stuff" See instructions below re hissie fits!! Don't wanna go to work, don't wanna drive to work (bus mechanics on strike), don't wanna go to strange market (Ralph's employees on strike), don't wanna see our southland go up in flames due to antisocial behavior of firesetters, don't wanna have temperatures of 100 F. in late October. Now that's better.

Laren asked about the software I use for organizing books. It is a relatively inexpensive (but not free) program called Book Organizer Deluxe. It is by PrimaSoft who put out A LOT of organization sorts of software. I like it because it lets me put in a lot of information including condition, list price, purchase price, value, source, notes and a thumbnail of the cover amongst other things. It lets you do a goodly amount of customization and has the usual sorting features of any database.

As to Laren's other question (I will add comments here one of these days but tried it once and gave up when it didn't work), Yes the Celtic knots will all be put in a booklet and put in our catalog as soon as I can get them finished off. They are pretty quirky. Not all the same size, charted in only 4 colors (you can change them as you please) but are really meant more as a collection of maze, key and interlacing designs you can play with to create your own projects. I can't imagine anyone stitching the entire alphabet!!! I certainly don't intend to do so. I stitched the initial 4 charts IONA and have an idea they will work out okay but anyone who eventually works all of them and provides me with photos will earn a whopping shop credit with yours truly.

Instructions for Hissie Fit

If right handed, plant left foot firmly on floor, raise right hand to heaven and stomp right foot firmly on floor while turning the body anti-clockwise.

If left handed, reverse instructions accordingly.

Repeat uneven number of rotations and add any personal incantations desired.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2003


Now that I'm home I'm determined to finish up the Celtic Alphabet. So, one more letter done, six to go.

And I'm putting my books from the two latest trips to England in my database. That's a chore that gives me great delight.

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Monday, October 20, 2003


Back to the "real" world of day jobs and model stitching. The private collection we visited was stupendous and the Gothic Exhibit at the V&A on Friday was brilliant. Saturday was a dangerous visit to my favorite textile book dealer where I was treated to a couple of great books by a friend. One that had been on my best wish list "The Studio" a special 1921 edition on embroidery and another on Transylvanian Saxon designs with excellent footnotes to link the folk motifs charted. Friends are real superheros when they understand one's lust for needlework and design books.

No stitching whilst gone, but heaps of inspiration. Watch this space.

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Thursday, October 16, 2003


Yesterday was a great day at the RSN. Liz Elvin gave us an insightful tour with a glimpse at a lot of goldwork. Then a batch of the group stayed to shop the shops and visit the palace. I tootled back to London for a quiet hour at the British Museum Medieval section and an evening featuring a scavenger hunt in the British Galleries and today it's off to Kent to look at a private sampler collection and an evening tour of the Women's Library to see WSPU marching banners. More another day

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Tuesday, October 14, 2003


Well, I've been a little remiss at keeping you all informed of our progress whilst in London. Tapping in from Queensway area today. I've had two good days at the National Art Library, an exhausting day at the Ally Pally Knitting and Stitching Show and another morning at the V&A. Yesterday afternoon a walk about the early portraits at the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery as well as a dangerous stroll down Charing Cross Road and a visit to a dozen or more bookshops. Today, back to the V&A and tea at Harrods. It's a tough life but someone has to do it. I'll spare you the pain and do it for you.

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Tuesday, October 07, 2003


Web catalog tweaked and twiddled but I'll find more glitches in it I'm sure. My friends are kind enough to send me e-mails saying "that URL doesn't work! That graphic is awful" Just as in embroidery - I am an adequate technician when it comes to getting stuff online. I get so bored with the whole process I always put stuff on sale when I've fiddled with the site. I want some instant gratification for all that work!!!

I've always told students that probably at least 1/3 of them in any given classroom are better stitchers than I am - but I know a lot more useless embroidery trivia than most

No stitching today and I'll be out of town for nearly two weeks, so ... a break from the doors.

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Monday, October 06, 2003


I worked SO hard on Sunday that the time just flew by. Finished up the files on a couple of historic reprint books I'm adding to our catalog (one cross stitch - one knitting). Stitched like mad on one of the doors. Worked on the website....boring!!!!

Had a tidy fit and got rid of heaps of stuff that is going on e-bay or on the website. My taste in embroidery has certainly changed in 20 years. Made up kits for the folks on our tour which starts on Saturday and did most of my packing to get on the plane for London tomorrow. It's made me tired just to think of all of this stuff!!!

I'm ever so pleased that my friend Su is now planning to haunt the UK research libraries - now I just have to convince her to collaborate with me on a book of early designs.

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Saturday, October 04, 2003


Oops!!! Upon checking inventory of Celtic letters I found I never dealt with "L" so no "T", just "L" in key pattern. Looks rather plain Jane, but key designs do better without ruffles and flourishes. Just a few beads and a little gold metallic to lift it to a higher level.

Now for a break from letters and back to another project that has been pushed aside. I had designed a Gay Pride card for our Stitch a Celebration greeting card line but although the rainbow background I had distorted in PhotoShop looked great on the card layout - and great when I printed it on fabric - it didn't work when I stitched a white Lambda on it - so back to the drawing board to fix another OOPS. Plain old rainbow on the fabric, distorted rainbow on the chart card.

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Celtic S finished except a final check for stray or missed stitches.

Now on to the "T" - I've been pondering possibilities whilst filling in the dreary bits on the S and am thinking maybe Celtic key patterns. More later when progress is being made

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Well, good reports all around here. Finished the day job for the week (well only brought one file home) but I'm back to stitching. Finished all the cross stitch on one of the Kew Doors and well into finishing all of it on the other one currently in a hoop.

ALSO back to a never ending project!!! Several years ago I designed four knotwork letters (I O N A) and taught the design at a season of Heart of Cross Stitch Shows. Thought I was finished with it but everyone was disappointed they didn't get an entire alphabet so I've been slogging away on it ever since. I've now completed the alphabet through R and just opened a screen on S and am pushing bits of knots around.

I'm determined to finish up the alphabet, get it into booklet form and get it in our catalog - Watch This Space

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Wednesday, October 01, 2003


Bad, bad case of jet lag this trip. But up and running again now. Today I've been making the final reservations for our needlework tour in London and spent most of the early (3-4 a.m.) hours on the telephone tweaking the afternoon tea reservations, the Gothic Art Exhibit tickets, the rail tickets etc.

We're going to see a rare treat this year. The collection of textile marching banners connected with the women's suffrage movement in England. They are now owned by the Women's Library in London. I saw a few of the banners when The Museum of London mounted their Shoulder to Shoulder exhibit a few years ago, but this is an opportunity to see a good many more of this important part of women's history. The collection has been digitized which is an interesting story in and of itself. To see all of the banners you can visit a site which offers not only the Women's Library collection but lots of other visual image collections including an extensive project concerning medieval stained glass.

Didn't do a bit of stitching away although I took the Doors models with me. I don't know why I carry any stitching with me when I travel. I just don't do well trying to stitch while away from home.

Had two decent days at the National Art Library. They do have some treasures. They are just more difficult to access than those at the British Library. Had a session with an early pattern book which (unmentioned in Lotz or in the catalog) had a title page and four plates from another early book bound with the cataloged edition. Surprises.

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