Romantic Stitches
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The thoughs of a Victorian Romantic, including stitching, books and whatever strikes my fancy, including the ocassional foray onto a soapbox. Artwork by Jo at Little Ariel

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Location: Louisiana, United States

History geek. Browncoat/Whovian/Trekkie/Scaper Science fiction romance writer. Closet football fan.

Friday, December 29, 2006

St. Petersburg White Nights

I saw the screenshots of the next Chatelaine garden, St. Petersburg White Nights, and really really liked it on the navy blue. Didn't like just the plain green that she picked. So all this time I've been seriously considering doing it on a blue fabric.

Enter the Chatelaine fabric viewer. And Lori's yummy fabrics, the Painteds. The Flairs would be a bit too dramatic for White Nights methinks. I don't like the blue anymore. I like her Eire, Evergreen and Mint. All greens! Yes, greens. I didn't like the green screenshot. Or the gray. It looks really good on her Slate too. Which is a gray. And I kinda like it on Wizard's Magic. That one's gray and a very pale lavender.

What's a girl to do.... Tonight I really like the Evergreen best. It's a muted green, makes the design pop but it's not overwhelming. I still do like it on SW Enchantment. Evergreen is better though.

Yup, Evergreen it is! That was a lot easier than I thought it would be.

I've been at my Mimi's house since Tuesday, just got home today. I took Alternative Reality and St. Basil's with me. We don't do much when we're there except sit and talk. Prime stitching time! Probably got over 500 stitches in on AR, and a nice-sized chunk of St. B was done too. I couldn't finish that onion dome though because I forgot to drop my BF in the bag. Ah well, still got a lot done. Will have pictures tomorrow. Zoe is in my lap right now and I don't feel like getting up.


Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone! Hope your day was filled with family, fun, food and wonderful memories.

Didn't get much stash for Christmas, but I hadn't asked for very much either. Got a needlecase for my knitting needles, the Craftmates storage tote I had asked for to put my beads in, and a complete set of steel crochet hooks in their own pretty little case. Yes, I'm a thread crocheter and proud of it, lol.

Mostly I got American Girl stuff. Which is ok with me! I have 9, with #10 coming home in the spring sometime. My youngest brother Jason bought me Josefina's adobe oven. It is wonderful! I set it out on my bookshelf. Mama got me Emily's PJ's and robe. Boy is that robe ever soft! It's chenille. I want one that soft. Elizabeth gave me a gift certificate so I'm going around in circles trying to decide what to buy. I can get two things with it and also make use of the movie code to get 10 bucks off my order.

And to make matters even worse on the GC front, there's supposed to be new stuff for Molly and Emily coming out next week, including a 2-piece swimsuit for Emily! I think my brain might very well explode. I hope the suit looks like a real 1940's suit and is just as good as Molly's.


Saturday, December 23, 2006

SEX and pondering

Now isn't that a title that would raise eyebrows for the unknowing, lol.

The Watergarden kit arrived yesterday!!!!!! It's so beautifully packaged too. I'm very impressed and will be a repeat customer for further Chatelaines.

I've also been doing some pondering on the wedding sampler I'm going to do for my brother. The original floss I had picked out, Waterlilies "Fir" just isn't going to work. There's not enough purple in it, it's too blue up against my fabric. I'm stitching it on SMF "Guinevere" and the piece I have is more green than purple, so now I'm considering just using a purple or lilac variegated silk to do it.

The design itself is a Celtic knot with "Love Never Fails" in the center, and then the names and date underneath. I'm toying with the idea now of using VC Grapevine to stitch the knot and something lavender to stitch the words. Or there's Wisteria, also a lovely color. And then there's Dinky Dyes Lavender Mist or Jacaranda. All 4 would be acceptable. The wedding colors are lilac and light green, so the Wisteria would fit that. And it would be stunning on Guinevere. (I would link, but my piece is greener than what's on the site)

Most likely will use Wisteria now that I've sat here and pondered and looked at colors. still debating on what to do the words with though. Wisteria also or a green?


Thursday, December 21, 2006


Martina of Chatelaine released the screenshots for the St. Petersburg Garden today. Can we say "I'M IN LOVE!!!!!!!!"

I knew it would be spectacular and that I would fall in love with it on the spot, but I had no idea I would love it this much. I'll be joining the class to get the chart even though I can't stitch along. The reason is very simple: It'll take me a few months to save up to afford the kit! I'll definitely be subbing any NPI's for DMC though. That $3.20 pricetag per skein just ain't worth it to me, not even for this one.

I dropped my finished Knit Your Bit scarf off at my LYS today. And gosh darn it I forgot to take a picture! Also bought the last 3 colors that I need for the lapghan I'm going to knit for myself and the needles I need. My first circulars! Size 6 and 7 Clover bamboo needles. The pattern I'm adapting from calls for 6's, but since I knit rather tight I want to have 6, 7, and 8 on hand so I can get it just right. The pattern is really cool too, it's 7 different colors and you do it in strips of 7 squares each and arrange the colors in a geometric pattern. I've picked 7 different shades of purple to do mine. All I have to do now is decide what the color order will be, lol.

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Happy Birthday to me!

Finished my Joy tree into an ornament last night. And there it is! Stitched with VC Evergreen and Wine, beads are Delica 279 red/green luster. My first matboard finish too. And I liked to killed my finger sewing the cording on, lol. But I love the way it turned out and will definitely be finishing more ornaments with matboard.

Chatelaine's Watergarden kit has been purchased! Unfortunately I have to wait till January on the chart because of my bridesmaid dress and my medicine. Ah well. It's not like I have the fabric yet anyway, lol.

Speaking of, the fabric will be EF's "Ocean Dreams" painted 32ct Belfast. I'd link to a pic, but Lori took the site down while she's moving. And I need a custom cut so I won't be ordering it before February. Lori will need some time to get stuff set up again and I don't want to be part of the flood when the cart goes live again.

And my Christmas money will be buying me the new Mirabilia Christmas tree kit from Karen over at the Froggy Stitcher. I love it SO much. Having the darnedest time coming up with fabric for it though...

The voting for my knitting bag is 3 for Ruth Fielding, 1 for Judy, 1 for Hardy Boys. I'll take votes for a couple more days.


Thursday, December 14, 2006

What's in the bag

I need a knitting bag. Something that doesn't have Velcro on it. That nixes all of my current empty totebags. Darn, I have to get a new one! But I have a quandary. I can't decide which one to get!

Should I get this one? It's the artwork from Judy Bolton #2 The Haunted Attic. And I am always on the lookout for books, just not necessarily when I'm knitting.

Or this one? I am a Sleuth, a charter member in fact. But I already have a Sleuth Cafe Press tote bag. From the 2004 convention, I won it. It has the cover from The Haunted Showboat on one side and the cover from Mystery of the Fire Dragon on the other side. It has my HAED "A Favour" in it.

OR, there's this one. That's Ruth Fielding. I've just recently found out that I love this series. Need to round out my collection of them. Or to complicate matters even further there's the Hardy Boys tote. That would be nice walking around with Frank and Joe on my arm.... And Secret of the Old Mill is one of my favorites. Decisions decisions.

My JOY tree is finished. I was going to take a picture of it this evening to post, but Zoe decided to take a nap in my lap and I just can't bring myself to stand up. So I'll do it tomorrow. It came out beautifully! I'm so happy with it and it's going to look fantastic on the tree.

The Cafe Press tote bags are AMAZING to be quite honest. They're 100% cotton so they can go in the wash. The picture doesn't come off and they're incredibly well made. Worth every penny.

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Monday, December 11, 2006

O Christmas Tree #2

This time it's the tree in our living room. Truly one of the most beautiful we've ever had. But I say that every year, lol. It's a 7 foot tall Noble fir, real of course. I love real trees and so does my dad. He won't even entertain the thought of a fake tree as long as he's alive. Nobles have such a wonderful Christmassy scent too.

Our tree stand is a hair on the large side for the trunk, so we weren't able to put as many ornaments on it as we usually do. It tried to tip over on me, so I stopped. That gray square ornament is a Borg cube from Star Trek:TNG. It plugs into the light string and has a button on the bottom and the inside also lights up, just like a real Borg cube. Push the button and it says "We are the Borg. Resistance is futile. Enjoy your holidays". Belongs to my dad the Trekker. He has also has the Enterprise-A and the Romulan ship from Enterprise. I'm not sure which one he's getting this year.

A lot of the ornaments are handmade and have stories attached to them. I think those are the best kind. The ornament of the 7 dwarves are ones I made with a kit. They're very cute. We also have an ornament from every place that we visit. You can't see it, but we have one of the Ponderosa map from the Bonanza credits! And our angel looks like a Gibson girl and she has feathery wings.

And this one just because I like pictures of trees when all the lights are turned off.

Haven't gotten a lot of stitching done this last week between working and decorating, not being home and generally feeling "blah" because of the cold snap last week. Fibromyalgia + cold = one miserable person. I did start the Joy ornament from the 2005 JCS. It's nearly done and once it is done I'll finish it out and find a place to put it on the tree. I'm doing it with VC Evergreen and Wine.

The week between Christmas and New Year's I'm going up to see my Mimi. I'm thinking about taking AR and St. Basil's. Both will just blow her mind. And I love them so much. S.B. is starting to whimper at me, though not very loudly yet. And I'll take my knitting too I expect.

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I'm alive

It's been really cold around here the last few days. But of course my definition of cold is a lot different than most peoples. Anything below 58 in the daytime is cold. Last night it got down to 19! I can't remember that ever happening before Christmas. The old-timers are saying it's going to be a hard winter. The trees were full of color once they finally started turning. Prettier than even the old-timers ever remember seeing. We've had one hard freeze and 4 regular freezes. Again, absolutely unheard of before Christmas. Especially the hard freeze. Those don't usually happen until at least January. And never before my BD.

AR is coming along. I haven't touched it in a couple of days. Way too tired. So I was working on my scarf some last night and then crashed early. Going to do that again tonight. Planning to start the JOY tree ornament from the 2005 JCS ornament issue tomorrow too. I need a little break and something Christmassy! I'm using my skein of VC Evergreen and Wine over 1 on white 28ct Monaco. Why white? Because it's the only color I have! This will also give me an excuse to carry the piece into Hobby Lobby and test out Delicas. I discovered a few months ago that they have a rather large selection of them tucked into the jewelry section.

Most of my Christmas shopping is done. God Bless Amazon! And Target online. I hate going in our Target. Hate it hate it hate it. Getting in and out of the parking lot takes an act of Congress this time of year, and nothing is ever where it's supposed to be. And they're even worse than Wal-Mart about not having enough lanes open.

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Friday, December 01, 2006

O Christmas Tree...

I love Christmas. Especially Christmas trees. Even more especially Victorian Christmas trees!

2 years ago Kent House was presented with an opportunity to display a Christmas tree in the lobby of the Hotel Bentley, downtown. The only catch was that it had to be representative of our historic site. So I set out researching early Victorian Christmas trees. By "early", I mean pre-Civil War. Our interpretive period stops at 1855.

What I found was a description of General Robert E. Lee's Christmas tree from 1853, from his daughter's diary. So I set out to re-create it as best I could. The tree was on display for about a week and the idiot owner of the Bentley decided to kick all the guests out and close the hotel. I very sadly took down my beautiful tree and packed everything away.

Fast forward to day before yesterday. We've been decorating the grounds for Christmas and everything had to be up by this Sunday. The lady who usually decorates the tree is out of town. So Allie said we'd take care of it. And by that she meant I could put MY tree up!!! So we did. This is it, in all its lovely glory. The only things I changed from the description that I found is obviously the electric lights in place of candles, and my mom took pictures of events at KH and made little paper ornaments out of them. I popped the popcorn and strung it myself, and yes there's tinsel on it! I nearly fell out of my chair when I found out tinsel was that old.

I've had several comments asking what the pinhead stitch is. Here's the diagram that I used to teach myself how to do it. It's quite easy actually, and I'm sure there are more diagrams out there. I think I found out about it on the TWBB.

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