Monday, February 22, 2016

What a beautiful day we're having in Ocean City.  The past weekend gave us just a hint of spring with temperatures going up to 60 degrees and while it is colder today, in the 40's, the sun is shining, the water is a little choppy but glistening and when you go outside you don't really need a coat...lovely.  Inside, we are getting ready for our annual trip to Nashville.  Usually my Nashville prep starts at 10 p.m. the night before we leave.  Then I start doing laundry, etc. and work until about 4 a.m, and exhausted before we even get in the car.  But this year I've decided to act like an adult and do the prep work early.  Of course the first thing I think about is what am I going to take stitch wise.  Sara came over to me this morning and asked if I wanted to take the supplies for the Quaker Box (I called it a mini tote) from Mani di Donna as it is being released in Nashville and I usually find something Friday from one of the designers that I work on and finish before we leave Nashville.  Last year it was a Shepherd's Bush project.  Of course I said yes, so it is now safely in my Nashville bag along with the perpetually worked on in bits and pieces, "Autumn Logs" from Needle Delights Originals.  It's a canvas work piece which Sara started a couple of years ago.  She never took it upstairs so it sat here with the smallest block worked and 95% unfinished, since she hasn't touched it since she did the center block.  I love many of the canvas work pieces, however, I always tend to pick blues or greens and Sara picks everything but.  So while the colors aren't what I would have chosen, one day while sitting in the shop I got bored because whatever I was stitching was completed and I didn't want to start a whole new project just then.  And then I spied the canvas work piece and decided Sara was never going to finish it so I took it on.  It's like doing decorative stitches on a log cabin quilt block, only instead of fabric it's a canvas.  Certainly takes me back to my crewel and needlepoint days.  I've always loved the variety of stitches available, and each leg of this is a different needlepoint stitch, so interesting.  When I first started working on it I was able to complete rows on all four sides quickly...however, as the block is being worked each side takes longer to complete as it grows in size,  so now I don't get 4 sides done each day at work so I've now put it down and just work on my counted work.  But I've decided it would make a great car now it's my mission to work on this while in the car (Sara doesn't think I'll get it done because I fall asleep too much).  I usually do a large count project on the way down and another on the way back, so I'm hoping I stay awake long enough coming and going to get this done.  Fingers crossed!!!!  But I don't let that stop me from taking a few other projects, just in case.  I'm going to limit myself on how much I take because we are busy a lot of the time in Nashville, and I do have to work on my pre-stitching as well.  Sara always takes about 15 projects with her and she has less time to work on them than I do, but I usually take approx. 6 projects if that many.  Because reading is important to me and I try to read a few books while I'm gone.  One on the ride down and one on the ride back, in fact I don't know how I fit sleeping into this schedule.  But somehow I do.  When I told Sara I was starting to pack so I didn't have to do anything the night before the only thing she mentioned was the Cheesecake Factory gift cards.  Food is a major issue for us when on trips.  In fact the market is just something to do between breakfast and dinner I think.  Oh, I'm so excited...Cheesecake and needlework... this is my happy place.  I've picked a Brenda Gervais patriotic piece to stitch on 20 ct. over 2 and spent the greater part of today pulling threads and trying to match them with Weeks perle cottons.  Sometimes it is just easier to do the pattern as shown, but what's the challenge in that I ask?  Judy stopped by yesterday and brought us a bucket of Fisher's caramel corn, still hot from the kettle.  She thought we left for Nashville tomorrow and wanted us to have a snack....the caramel corn is calling my name but I'm refusing to open this bucket....I'm actually going to leave it in the shop this week so I'm not tempted to open it....although I could open it, eat it and then pick up a new bucket and just tell Sara it's the same one Judy left with us.  God the choices I have to make. I must remain strong!

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