A Return and an Embroidery Sampler

My 100 Days Embroidery Sampler

My last post in March 2020 appears to be a strange artifact from the time before we really knew. I hope you’ve stayed healthy, that the trauma from the last two years has been minimal.

As always, one thing that keeps my mental health strong is attending to a project. My most recent project, started on 23 September, 2021, is an embroidery sampler. I decided to take the last 100 days of the year to explore embroidery. I’ve been embroidering for a long, long time, but I default to the same ol’ stitches and wanted some new faves.

You can look through the entire 100 days on Insta. I’ve had a few requests for the resources I used, so here’s a list:

Mary Corbet’s NeedlenThread: Mary has created a ton of excellent videos.

The Embroidery Stitch Lexicon by Pumora: I printed out a copy, and I found it useful for understanding different families of stitches.

The Stitches of Creative Embroidery by Jacqueline Enthoven: an oldie and a goodie!

Embroidery Stitch Bible by Betty Barnden: I borrowed this from my library and may get a copy for my fiber arts bookshelf (let’s be honest: shelves!)

Royal School of Needlework: you may get lost for days on this site. Excellent videos in their Stitch Bank.

If you’re new to embroidery, I highly recommend taking a class. Rebecca Ringquist’s classes on CreativeBug are terrific, and if you can take a live class with Cal Patch, I know you’ll get lots of new skills! I’ve taught embroidery at my LYS, in private lessons, and for a local young woman’s group. It’s always a blast to get folx excited about this low-cost, easy-entry skill.

100 Day Project: Postcards for All (or at least 100)!

Last Friday I avoided most social media, spending the day on self care and allowing myself to indulge in my sorrow at the end of the Obama Administration.

I did, though, manage to read about the 100 Day Project that started on January 21: Where Dreams and Darkness Meet. I knew in an instant that I wanted to participate, and I knew just as fast what I wanted to do:

Postcard Project Redux! My plan: every day for 100 days I will make a postcard and send it out into the world. Would you like one? Sign up here. I promise not to share your info! (And if you really love getting postcards, be sure to check out my friend Cara aka January One’s upcoming postcard project!)

With news of the new president’s desire to defund the arts and humanities (which Snopes reports as making up .006 of 2016’s federal spending–way to “make America great”), I want to send my own bits of art into the world. I’m pretty sure my focus will be on creating images to marry with facts (regular ol’ facts, not alternative facts) related to the many ways in which this administration has promised to isolate, ravage, and dumb down my country while at the same time taking away basic rights from so many groups.

Am I angry? You bet. But I’m using my anger to enact what Ghandi advised:

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.”

I attended the Sister Rally of the Women’s March on Washington in Hartford, CT, and I left it feeling even more motivated to continue the work I’ve been doing since the election (phone calls, letters, and emails to elected officials, sharing action information, teaching students how to write phone scripts and emails to their elected officials, etc.) and to aim to do even more. This project is one little doing even more.

I hope you’ll sign up and let me share a little bit of where dreams and darkness meet for me!

One Special Day and 99 Others


Yesterday was Neal's birthday.  I love this picture taken in the meadow over the summer with George the iPhone.  Sweet little kisses among the flowers are one of life's joys, don't you think?

Last Tuesday we hit 100 days until the end of the year, and in a final push to meet some goals, Neal and I have undertaken the 100 Days Project.  We have fitness and financial goals to meet, and I have some writing and crafting goals as well.  Since I seem to fail at goals that I proclaim publicly, I'm going to keep this set mum for the most part, but I'll be sure to let you know what success I meet.

Remember when knit bloggers used to write about knitting on their blogs?  Ravelry has caused me to move a lot of what I have to say about the craft off of the blog and onto my Projects pages, and I think I want to shift back here a little more.  Right now I'm in the midst of a Clapotis (surely I do not need to link to the pattern).  I want to wear it to Rhinebeck, which means a lot of knitting ahead of me.  At some point, though, I may decide I can't achieve that goal and switch my plan.  Beth has opened a shop for her lovely handspun, and I scored about 300 yards of her Green Beer worsted.  This fantastic yarn may become a Milkweed Shawl (Rav link) if I think I can squeak by with what I have.  Anyway, that's Plan B.

Are you going to Rhinebeck?  Are we going to see each other there?  I sure hope so!

100 Days

One hundred days from now, I will turn forty. 

There are some who read my blog who have known me since I was a teenager.  Some since my birth.  They are likely feeling a little old having just read that statement. 

I don’t feel old, though.  I feel invigorated by the prospect of entering a new decade of my life.  I have so much good in my life right now–and I believe my 40s will lead to even more good, nay, wonderful events.

To bid adieu to my 30s, years that were tumultuous, heartbreaking, yet ultimately the best so far, and to prepare for my 40s, I have thought long and hard about a project I might undertake.  I determined that I want to focus on strengthening my body, mind, and spirit during the next 100 days, and here’s how I plan to do so:

1.  Complete this program, which will result in my doing 100 push ups before my birthday.  My dear friend LJO is a personal trainer, and she has assured me that properly executed push ups are one of the best exercises to target a variety of muscles and to build my upper body strength.
2.  Read the Bible.  While I have probably read most of it throughout my life, I plan to dedicate myself to a focussed and deliberate reading.  I’m estimating that I’ll need to read about 20 pp.a day.  I’ll be using my favorite version, the New Jerusalem Bible.
3.  Return to a regular daily  yoga practice.  I miss my headstands, even if I do need to lean against a wall do do them.   We are, as the saying goes, only as young as our spines.  I want my spine to feel as young as my mind does.
4.  Write at least 200 pages of my revised draft of The Hardest Bent.  Since the start of the semester, I have been lame about getting in my writing time.  I uprooted my life and underwent drastic changes in order to learn my craft, and I intend to respect myself by, well, writing.   I’ve been sloppy about  staying on the treadmill, but now I will be pristine in my habits.

I’ll post progress as warranted.  Wish me luck!