Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I've had so many nice comments about the photo on the header of my blog. It is a close up of "Miss Hathaway's Garden" by Marty Bell. It took several years to complete: talk about confetti!!!! And it's how I learned -the hard way- about gridding. It's my pride and joy. I'm glad you all like it.
I've managed to do a little reading. I re-read the Harry Potter series and, on a trip to Books A Million, found this little gem. It's titled A Rose for the Crown. It's by Anne Easter Smith. I'm a big history buff, especially British history. It's the story of Richard III ( you know: the guy who supposedly did away with his nephews so he could become king- the princes in the tower)  and the mistress who gave him his illegitimate children. It's well written, well researched. It gives another view of the famous -infamous?- bad guy. My jury is till out on that matter and, in this case, don't take Shakespeare's word for it! I need more info, but it seems that he may not be as bad as he's portrayed. There was even more info at the end of the book in the author's notes. We'll see....

I'm going to make another trip this Friday to purchase this one. It's the story of Margaret, Richard's sister.
Hopefully it will read as easily as the last one.
Also,the glass balls that I use for my TUSal were purchased at Hobby Lobby. They are actually Christmas ornaments. I just turned them upside down in the bowl so the hanger wouldn't be seen. I think they're also at Michael's. There are 3 sizes and I used the medium ornaments.
In the meantime, my grandkids (and my son and daughter-in-law!) are coming Friday. They are on the way to Tuscaloosa to see David's mother (97 and still going strong). So......I guess you all may be subjected to some of Mimi's photos next week. They are SO cute.
Until then, stay safe!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

It's time for the August report for the Totally Useless SAL. Here it is, resting comfortably on Chaplain's Garden. The jar is pretty full this time: lots of DMC labels, orts. And my fob broke, so there are some pretty green beads and silver charms. I'd had it so long that I decided to put it to rest and not re-bead it.
Here's the ever-growing bowl of  balls.
And the Marquoir. This is truly a great piece to stitch. It's HUGE. But it moves quickly because there is no backstitching or half stitches. I'm still playing with the color scheme a little. I am using liturgical colors. Even did some research, as I mentioned before. Now I just need to figure out where to use some black and white..

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I was browsing around my local news agent a couple of days ago and ran across Issue 127 of the UK's Cross Stitch Crazy. My eyes went immediately to the little rose fairy on the front cover. It's been almost a year since I lost my Rose. I thought I would stitch this pretty little picture to go on her shelf. It calls for some of the new DMC specialty threads. It will be fun to watch it shape up but so bittersweet with memories.

Monday, August 17, 2009


I guess you could say I'm being a little slow these days. I am completely overtaken (is that a word?) by two of my projects. Truly I had forgot how much fun a Marty Bell could be. The Chaplain's Garden is coming along so well. Confetti stitches everywhere but I can really see where it is going now. And anxious to get started on it's mate.

And Le Marquoir is fantastic, too. I started it in the colors called for but frogged them all out and changed to brighter colors. Well, of all things, I went to a funeral at Our Lady of Mercy last week and spent a great deal of time noticing things. There was a banner to the left of the altar and the colors were magnificent. And the green on the kneelers is the same one I picked. Then I realized they were all the colors I was using on the Marquoir. I came home, loaded Google, searched liturgical colors and how amazing! I was instinctively using those colors. The only one I had not included was rose. It's going to be there now! It's really a beautiful piece.

We're watching the Gulf of Mexico now. Two trifling little storms there now and one biggy which looks like it's going up the Eastern Seaboard. But once they get started.........And I shouldn't say trifling because that's the best way to get a surprise-like Katrina.

Friday, August 7, 2009


This inspired the new hobby. It is a sampler that I did in 1975. It never was under glass, stored under the bed. I pulled it out, dismantled it, soaked it and then bought glass and framed it myself. There's a pretty bad stain at the bottom which wouldn't come out. Oh, well. My mother also did one and it's hanging in the foyer. I'll get a photo of it. Best thing is that my boys will each get one. I re-used the same frame. Just cleaned it up a bit.

This is a piece of needlework that is also very old. It's Stoney Creek's "Little Drummer Boy". I just love the look on his little face. It wasn't too difficult to frame and is now on the wall with the Santa I did so many years ago.
I went thru a major Paula Vaughn stage and did many of her designs. This is one of many in the box under the bed. I'll get the others framed sooner or later! It's in a very OLD frame that housed a very old photograph. My guest room is the PV room and this one is hanging in there.
This one is recent. Maybe the second one I framed. Don't remember the designer but I did change some of the colors to liven it a bit.
This has been completed for awhile but I've just now photographed. It's the Sampler Girl's Christmas stocking. As you can see, it is hanging all year round in my dining room. I made it a little bit longer so I could stitch Emma's name at the top (the verse is from Emma).

While I had the camera ready, I made a photo of the bellpull that my mother stitched SO many years ago. She also stitched the cushions that you can see in some of the other photos.

This is a very OLD Janet Powers design of an iris (I went thru a JP phase, also). It is now hanging on my JP wall, which is just outside the bar near the dining room.

I've really enjoyed the framing thing. The best news is that the very large box of old needlework is now beginning to empty. It's not difficult to frame. Just takes patience, which I have with some things, but not with people. Need to work on that now.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Anybody that knows me well knows that I HATE snakes. Not really afraid of them. Just HATE them. Satan in disguise on earth.
So last week my son sent over some snaps. He's been on vacation in Texas. He was riding his bike and ran across a friend. He assured everyone that it was dead and he only took the photos to prove that it had really happened. Right, I thought. Then I realized that it hadn't moved and that it was next to a bicycle wheel and wasn't coiled. Okay. I give Michael that one. He even counted the rattles: 8, for the record.
Twelve years ago we moved into my dream house. It is perfect-almost. It's very European, which I like. Has a living room and a den. On almost an acre. Wonderful kitchen. Fireplace in my den. And one in my bathroom. Lots of granite. Creative wallpaper in the breakfast room. Stars were shining so brightly in my eyes that I failed to notice the woods and the creek at the back of our lot. Yep. Lots of visitors. Starting the first week we were here. I didn't realize a cottonmouth could jump so high-straight up.
It's been a reality of life. From the copperhead in my courtyard (when I first saw it I thought it was doggie poop). To the friend that greeted me two Easters ago when I pulled in the parking bay in front of my house. David wouldn't kill it: it was a "good" snake. Excuse me, but there is no such thing. Closest to it is a dead snake. Neither are there small snakes. Even the one I whacked with a butcher knife in my driveway wasn't "little". I thought it was a night crawler. It wasn't.
Then there was the one that came down my driveway a couple of days after Gustav. My front windows have no screens ( looks better, of course). I asked David not to put the windows up-no electricity, bloody hot. He did. Luckily he and Michael were on the porch when the creature came calling. I wasn't at home. A neighbor spilled the beans a couple of days later. Some of the sweetest words in the English language are " I told you so".
I don't know the last time I've been in my back yard. Not even on the gazebo, which is built on to the back of the house. And I paid $1,000. for an English pathway. It needs to be cleaned and some liriope planted. Not me! I would love to do some yard work. Not me! A couple of years ago we both saw a HUGE cottonmouth make a getaway to beneath the gazebo. And then there was the one that fell out of the flower pot on the gazebo. No way in living hell will I go out into the yard.
Okay, I have a problem. How in the world I managed to have two sons who think they're neat.
At least the "good" ones. What is the purpose of those nasty things-other than to make my life miserable? And don't give me the old story about killing bugs and other snakes.
I absolutely HATE the things. What God was thinking is beyond me. Then again, a lot of things are!