Forgive Me, Reader,

for I have strayed. It's been two months since my last post.

     What, you may well ask, have I been up to in all that time? Well, some stitching, much working on scarletthread.com, a lot of planning for the next stage of my life. Taken together, it has felt like I've been doing a lot of running in place, flailing about, getting not a whole lot accomplished in any of my endeavors. The biggest thing that's had an impact on my ability to focus is my decision to sell my house, downsize, and move to an apartment in a neighborhood where I can walk instead of drive for most of my daily living needs. Big changes. It's been a relief, permission to let go of a lot of things I've been holding onto for way too long. Of course, we'll see how I feel in a couple of months.

     I have been stitching, or at least doing stitching-related things. I joined another chapter of ANG, the Shenandoah Valley Chapter, which entails a two-hour drive (one way) to go to a meeting (haven't quite managed that yet). My friend and I recently drove to and from Harrisonburg two days in a row to participate in a workshop with Orna Willis, Tesselations Again. I've been fascinated by this design and jumped at the chance to have Orna teach it her very own self. What a great two days! Not only did I learn a lot in the class while having a great deal of fun, but I also met another wonderful group of stitchers. Orna's explanation of tesselations, her process of developing the design, and the difficulties of translating tesselations to the grid of canvaswork made me appreciate the design even more and has inspired me to ruminate on designing one myself (way in the back of my brain right now). I've done more stitching since returning from the class a few weeks ago and fully intend to keep at it regularly till I finish it. I chose to do just one quadrant rather than the full piece, knowing that I really don't need yet another BAP right now. Here's where I am so far.

     Don't you love the colors? This is on Congress Cloth, so I can fool myself into thinking it's not that big a piece. I love the layered stitches Orna chose for the triangular shape that's the foundation of the piece.

     This week I finally finished stitching the 2010 ANG Stitch of the Month Mystery. Woo-hoo! I'm really pleased with the way it turned out. Since I'm planning to finish it as a pillow, I decided not to include the beads. (This will come as no surprise to those who know how much I dislike stitching beads. Hahahaha.)

     Of course, you know what this means, don't you? I can finally start the 2011 SOTM! After developing several custom colorways for scarletthread.com customers, I decided it was my turn. Initially, I was just going to use Ro Pace's original Flowers of Italy colorway, since it's so beautiful. But I became enamored of Thread Gatherer's Silk 'N Colors Desert Sage and ultimately decided to see what I could come up with. I'm using that along with Dinky-Dyes, Needlepoint Inc., and Rainbow Gallery Splendor silk flosses; Soy Luster; and New Metallics. I may have to change the metallic, as I'm not sure it will work on the Congress Cloth if I have to blend it with another thread.

     Now to find the time to get started. Funny thing is, I was really looking forward to working with the J.L. Walsh Silk Perle and ended up not using it. Another time, another project.

     I have more to talk about, but it's very late and I have a handyman coming bright and early in the morning to get started on a few projects to get my house ready to sell in about a month. I've made small progress on other WIPs and have another BAP I'll be starting on this week. I will be back soon (maybe even tomorrow if I can find the time).



  1. The SVANG group seems to be a good one, especially for someone who loves counted work. Have fun with them. Hard to believe it's a two hour drive for you and a 90 minute one for me but then you really can't get there (or anywhere) from here.

    Good luck on the house sale and downsizing. It's always a good idea to live an easier life, I think. Now how to find the time to do that myself!

  2. Actually, it's probably more like two and a half hours from my house. We timed it from my friend's house in Vienna.

    Today, I can see the entire floor of my side porch. For the first time in about two years, since I closed the doors at Scarlet Thread. Thrilling! So there is immediate gratification in this decluttering thing.

  3. Sara,

    I just got caught up on your blog--I retired in April and it seems one of the things it is hard to do when not at work is to read the blogs!

    With each post I was more amazed--we have amazingly similar taste! You are working on so many of the same projects that I am that it is scary! Still working on FMTM and waiting to start "Stars of the New Millennium." Finally got all the threads for Color on Color. Will be taking two Terry Dryden classes at Seminar. Have become friends with Liz Morrow, stitched mad miters and love the hens and chicks piece of hers that you are doing. Love your colors, love seeing your progress--in stitching and in life. So miss your store, but sounds like you have embarked on a wonderful new life. Just keep stitching and posting -- you are such an inspiration!

  4. Thanks, Rinda! I really need to start writing the blog again. It's been a long time, and I've finished a few things. I retired in March and have been weighing my options. Now it's time to get going on something. I mean, how hard can it be?