Friday, February 20, 2009

Costume Embroidery Eye Candy 

Kent State University is the home of a fashion/textile design department and their well done webpage can keep you busy for ages. I popped in at the Dictionary of Fashion but then was enticed to flip pages both up and down their visual exhibits (past, present and future). What a delight. Don't however blame me if enter there and forget something in the kitchen until you've scorched a pot to perfection.

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Glad to see you back!
And I think I am going to be up way past my bedtime tonight, enjoying that site....
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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Oh To Be in Parma 

If I bought lottery tickets and if one of them was a winning ticket, I'd be in Parma, Italy May 8-10 (and undoubtedly a few extra days) for the 2009 Forum Italian Invita

I'd be taking a workshop; I'd be examining antique textiles; I'd be engaging other embroidery history addicts in discussion and I'd probably be spending far too much on stash.

AND can you imagine asparagus season combined with excellent Parma ham. Oh! Oh! Oh!

Not this year folks but perhaps the next forum in 2011.

I have a copy of the publication produced by the 2005 forum -- Merletti e Ricami Italiani, Italian Laces and Embroideries. ISBN 88-89262-06-0 Done in side-by-side Italian/English with excellent essays by topnotch experts. Lots of beautiful photography of antique examples derived from modelbuchen and new examples stitched for the forum using a small group of first printing modelbuchen. They have included early lace examples as well. Eye candy enough to send my eyeballs into diabetic coma.

The book is worth what I paid, but it seems you can obtain it from the group's website at a much more tolerable cost.

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I will buy a lottery ticket too and if I win will shout you coffee in Italy - Oh would I love to do that
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Friday, February 13, 2009

News of Friends 

One of the things I missed the most whilst flattened and floored was news of friends but sitting at the computer was simply beyond my abilities.

One blog I missed greatly was that of Sharon B -- now Pin Tangle rather than In A Minute Ago. Sometimes I think Sharon delights in making this poor old brain of mine learn new turns and directions. I just get comfy with her blog and she shakes it all up like a tin of vintage buttons and tips out a brand new arrangement to delight and confuse me. So a link to Pin Tangle is now a part of my blog and in the next few days I'll take a look at other old favorites and make sure they're correctly tagged for your edification.

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Pin Tangle is also one of my favorites- in fact I just featured it yesterday on my blog!
Thanks for the link I appreciate it and it helps to spread the news a little
.... and I am pleased to be able to shake that tin
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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Shopping From Our Stash 

Times are tough for many of us now. The national economy sags, jobs are lost, overtime pay disappears, our retirement income shrinks and none of our Euros, Dollars or Rupees buys as much as they used to. So, what to do? One of the best things to do is shop from our stash.

It is the rare person amongst us who doesn't have a few bins, bags and boxes full of needlework supplies as well as charts and magazines full of ideas. So let's make good use of them. Maybe we don't have the exact fiber or fabric called for in a commercial design -- this is a good time to learn to improvise. Put together a color array from the fibers you DO have. Make the design a bit smaller or larger by using different ground fabric.

Take up crazy quilting where you can use all sorts of bits and pieces or adorn some clothing with those glam fibers and a little bling scattered around.

AND most of all, share your tips and tricks with the rest of us.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fond Memories 

I've had a couple of recent orders from Aussie stitchers and it's caused a regular flood of fond memories of my one visit to the country that is a continent.

I had a bit of windfall money a few years ago so I offered an all expense paid holiday to my sisters. Billie wanted to go to Australia, so off we went. We landed in Sydney and shocked the natives by driving up to Brisbane and Gladstone along the Pacific Coast Highway. We then spent a few days in paradise on Heron Island and returned to Sydney along the New England Highway.

As well as great food and wine and spectacular scenery we were enchanted with all the folks we met. We never met an ungracious or unhelpful person during our adventure and we were not on the "tourist trail" where folks are trained to put up with weird strangers in polite fashion.

So beginning at the great bang up Woolloomooloo Bay Hotel Pub to all the small motels and beds and breakfasts along the way we had nothing but unadulterated fun. Then it was back through Sydney and a few bugs at a posh restaurant down on The Rocks to say goodbye.

I want to come back someday and take some of the monumental train treks, I want to go to Alice, I want to see the west coast and Tasmania and Canberra. Spending two weeks in Australia is like having only a lick or two of an ice cream cone before it's taken away from you.

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Monday, February 09, 2009

Japanese Beauty 

Since 2005 I've stitched one Christmas ornament. Full stop, that's all folks. In good moments I've read needlework books and in those terrible midnight hours of despair I've watched criminals make their pleas to parole boards and fat brides being stuffed into $6,000 wedding gowns.

BUT - some of the books I've had time to properly read and think about for the first time have been an absolute delight. SO, if you will bear with me, I'd like to share my thoughts about some of them with you and take you along on the journeys some of them sent me on.

One book I've just finished properly reading cover-to-cover is a book I've had for several years but I'd previously only taken in the beautiful photography and a few bits of text.

The book is Japanese Crafts and Customs, A Seasonal Approach ISBN 4-7700-1687-5 A sympathetic collaboration by Kunio Ekiguchi who designed the 43 projects for this publication and Ruth S. McCreery who contributed the accompanying essays.

The photographs of seasonal foods and flora as well as the completed projects is oriental elegance and the line drawings and instructions are practical and encouraging with projects for the novice as well as accomplished crafters. Amongst other things there are a rather whimsical chrysanthmum pincushion and thimbles made of fabric.

Although you might not want to plunk down the cost of this book for your personal library, it is certainly an excellent recommendation for a local library purchase, a school library or a guild collection. It delves far more deeply into the Japanese culture, psyche and aesthetic than most other offerings.

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I actually found plenty of copies out there for $6-9. Original price $17.00.

Where do I search for books? www.addall.com
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Sunday, February 08, 2009


Thanks for all the kind comments sent my way. I'm beginning to sort things out. While I was flattened and away from my keyboard, my server service managed to fail to automatically renew my domain name so when I straightened that out, the website popped up again. Flawed and very out of date, but at least there. Now I'm working on updating it and I've popped a discount on the shopping cart in case anyone wants to buy a few things with out-of-date addresses on them and help pay the pharmacy co-pay I've racked up in the last few months. I don't want to have to reprint info pages and rebind them. I'd rather send them off at a 20% discount.

Orders are going out and I'll be e-mailing folks with tracking numbers as they get on their way.

Again, thanks for your concern.


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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Hopeful, but cautious 

I don't always discuss my health in public. I came from a long line of women who dictated that three subjects were not fit for public discussion (1) your health (2) your wealth (3) your religion.

What a nightmare my last few years have been. From April 13, 2005 until yesterday I had not one day without unremitting, excruciating back and hip pain as well as recurring bouts of anemia and more recently hives that left me crazed to say the least.

A multi-level laminectomy fixed the severe spinal stenosis but I was left with hip pain. The MDs in their infinite wisdom concurred that this was "post-laminectomy syndrome" and advised me just to do what you can and here's a scheduled drug prescription. Your chances of any improvement are "zero."

After a recent trip to the ER after I kept falling to the floor as the room spun around and some labwork indicating treatment for another bout to anemia was indicated I managed to treat the problem with some simple iron supplements and I solved the hives problem by process of elimination and taking the offending medication out of the mix.

I was then left with the hip pain and I suspected all along that I probably had an arthritic hip. NSAIDs have now dealt with that pain and I can't tell you how great it is to look forward to waking in the morning and getting things done.

My loyal customers have certainly put up with a lot during this four years and I'm busy now filling current orders and then will try my best to make sure any other orders are taken care of. If you have an order pending and have not heard from me in the next 7 days, do let me know and I will now be able to take care of the problem.
All I have to remember now is to practice moderation. Muscles and nerves that have been virtually bedfast for four years need to recover gradually.


This is certainly good news.
This is wonderful news. I'll keep my fingers crossed for your continued improvement!
That's good to hear news! Slow and steady and you will gradually find your way back! As you know, I've "been there, done that".
Hugs Linn! Glad you are getting things figured out!
Wooo Hooo! I know what relief from hip pain can mean. So very happy everything finally aligned for you.
Be patient and do your exercises to get back the muscle tone in your hip/thigh.

FWIW, Arthritis Canada has a lot of helpful information on exercises for pre and post op exercises (see http://www.arthritis.ca/tips%20for%20living/default.asp?s=1), as does RealAge.com (see http://www.realage.com/default.aspx). Besides appropriate exercise, the thing that I have found the most helpful/useful has been developing a mindfulness meditation practice based on the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Good luck in your jurney into renewed good health!
I"m glad that you're feeling better!
I hope things continue to improve - I want our old Linn back!!! Thinking of you
Thank you for the update. I'm glad to hear you finally appear to be on them mend.

Take it easy. Work up to things!
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