Archive for January, 2008

On Saturday my grandson Caleb and his wife Lauryth arrived here (Baltimore) from Seattle for a three-day visit. Turn on your speakers to enjoy the videos.

They were married in August but I, of course, was unable to travel to Seattle to be there. Having them come here was even better because if I had been at the wedding, there would not have been the opportunities for conversation we had here.

At my request they danced their wedding dance for me.

Then they danced two more dances–a salsa

and a cha cha.

And before we quit, they jammed with me.




We had dinner at my son Michael’s home on Sunday with some of the family who were able to make it. Unfortunately, the flu kept several members at home.



Michael’s wife Carolyn and son Josh


My son Pete with Caleb and Lauryth


With Granddad


Our friend Esther gave us a gift of dried fruits and nuts which we enjoyed Monday evening. Afterwards, I showed Caleb and Lauryth some of my recent needlework.

With Ernie, after an Indian dinner


On Tuesday morning I brought out all the photographs I have of Caleb since his birth and had a good time sharing them and reminiscing about the times Caleb spent with me while he was growing up. We reviewed them in the guest room where they were staying.



They liked the guest room here at Charlestown, said Sunday brunch and breakfast in dining rooms were outstanding, and declared it a fine place to stay. Now they are back home in Seattle. I am one happy grandmother!


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More from Dorothy

In response to email and comments she has received, Dorothy sent me this message:

This is such a nice thing for people to do. Makes me believe in all the good people in America that I always knew were out there. Thank you all. dorothy.

I am sending angels to the VA home in Scranton and cards for the senility and Alzheimer’s patients this week. Keep the prayers going. They are always appreciated, always, dorothy Take care JoWynn….

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From Dorothy

please tell all of the wonderful people “thank you for the wonderful responses”. an extra “yes” for the one praying for me. . i am downhill sliding right now and having problems turning it around. my sincere love to all. dorothy

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Time out

When I am not being productive, not creating something, not working, I feel dissatisfied. That’s the way I’ve been feeling for a few weeks. The only stitching I’ve done has been utilitarian–making potholders (which I did embroider, very simply), and doing alterations and mending. I’ve made little progress in my Blake study. Things have come up–papers from grandchildren to be read and commented on, other odds and ends.

But mostly, I think I’ve just been spending too much time socializing–more than I ever have in my life! Socializing online, I mean. TAST, Sumptuous Surfaces, and blogging–reading, writing comments, and posting myself, have brought me new friends and contacts. It has been very enjoyable, getting to know some of you through comments and correspondence. However, since I can be active only about five hours a day, if I’m socializing for two or three hours, there’s no time left for making things. To me, being productive is more important, more necessary for my well-being.

I have to choose. I can’t do both at the same time. So I have decided to take a time out from blogging and chatting to finish my Blake essay. I don’t know how long I’ll be gone from here, but I will be back. So watch your RSS reader. And thanks so much for your company.

My Blake shelf:


Now, here are two quotes from William Blake on the subject of joy.

It is right it should be so:
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know
Through the world we safely go.
Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine.
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.

“He who binds to himself a joy

Does the winged life destroy;

But he who kisses the joy as it flies

Lives in eternity’s sun rise.” –

William Blake

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Now that you’ve seen my miniature space, I’ll show you some miniature stitched studies.

Here are two quick warm up sketches I did for My View.

If you look closely, you will see little frames around small sections of the sketches. After I had stitched My View, my teacher (a subject for a later post) suggested that I do some small color experiments using these parts of the sketches.



The next step was to work out color schemes and develop a stitching plan for each of these little studies.

The first stitched study uses an analogous color scheme and straight stitches.

The second study uses a complementary color scheme and straight, detached chain, and back stitches.

The third study features a triadic color scheme, straight and detached chain stitches.

The fourth shows another complementary color scheme in a more abstract style with fly and straight stitches.

Finally, the fifth study is a monochromatic color scheme using herringbone, French knots, and straight stitches. It is an inch and 3/4 tall. The largest of these studies is 2 1/4 inches tall.

If you click on these images, you will go to Flickr where you can enlarge them to see the stitching. Tiny!

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My space

Some months ago, Annie Whitsed showed us the new design for her studio and progress in getting it re-organized. Sharon B has shown us her work room and ways she organizes her supplies, tools, and materials in several posts. Most recently, she cleaned out her work room for her “fiber diet weigh-in.”

Last fall Allie showed us her sewing room and challenged us to show ours. So that’s what I’m going to do. While I’m between projects. It looks different when I’m in the midst of one. Because my work space is quite different from others I’ve seen, I thought you might be interested in seeing it.
I spend 20 of every 24 hours in a room 14′ X 11′–154 sq. ft. It is my study, studio, meditation, bed-sitting room. Literally, it is my LIVING room.


From the doorway into my room, you see my desk with my wonderful double monitors and bulletin board behind it. Now I invite you to take the grand tour of My Space.

There are lengthy captions for most of the pictures. By floating your pointer over a picture, you can see the whole caption.You can either click through it image by image, or you can view it as a slide show. If you want to read the captions, you may want to click through the slide show, one at a time, or, at the bottom of the screen you can lengthen the duration of each slide .

I hope you enjoy seeing the space where I live and work.

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Sharon B started a conversation about Constance Howard, and I want to join in. Elizabeth then asked for more information about Howard and Kay responded with pictures of and from her books with links to sites for further material on Constance Howard.

She is a favorite teacher of mine, too. I have The Constance Howard Book of Stitches, and like Kay, it was an eye-opener for me. I’d never seen stitches used in such creative ways. I use it constantly for inspiration. I also have her Inspiration for Embroidery, published in the 1960s and so mostly in black and white. It is nevertheless a treasure trove of ways to create designs for stitching, new ways of stitching designs, and many uses for stitched work. There are no projects, but scores of finished works to study and lots of exercises.

Here’s the cover.

If you want to see the table of contents and some pages, I’ve put them in pdf format so that you can see them better.


O-o-o-ps, here’s the upside-down page.


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