Tuesday, June 29, 2010

color test

My long weekend was wonderful, full of good, fun family events. But time is still crunched. I did spot this quick color personality test today and thought you might enjoy it, too. Here are my results. Pop over and give it a try--it's fun.

Testcolor : THE personality color test

Test color is the result of original research conducted and validated by a team of clinical psychologists, psychoanalysts and mathematicians. Test color can generate over 50 million different answers, each one written by an artificial intelligence engine for every test.

Result of your test: Your results present a correlation ratio with our model superior to 96%. (In a general way, a result can be taken into account if this ratio is superior to 30%.)

Your Profile:
You are 46 % extrovert and 54 % introvert.

Independently of any order of importance:You are able to have an in-depth thinking, you think before acting, and you know how to communicate your knowledge.

You are also a manager and a structured person, you know how to take into account the needs of each person while leading them towards the set goals.

Finally you are imaginative and creative, you have always new ideas, and you know how to apply them.

Your understanding of your environment:


At first, at 34%, you are centered on your thoughts and your actions are determined by your knowledge and your experience.
Then, at a ratio of 34%, you are focused on the facts and on the reality, and your decisions are determined by your perception of facts.
Finally, at 31%, you are attached to moral values and feelings, and you have an emotional relation with the environment.

How you assert yourself: In your relations with others, your point of view and your decision-making are motivated by your inner conviction at 57%. Dialogue and exchange of views with others are taken into account at 42%.
Your ideas 57--42 Your relations

Also, your actions and behaviour are determined by your sensibility and that of your partner at a ratio of 54%. Then you are driven at 45% by own will and personal goals.
Your will power 45--54 Your sensibility

Finally, the bonds that you created with your family and friends represent 51% of your core emotions. Your creativity, your openness and your need to open up to renewal in your life have also an impact of 48%.
Your inspiration 48--51 Your family

The qualities that characterize your personality at this time:

Your insights--at 23%. you are thoughtful and deep, you think before getting into action and you know how to communicate your knowledge.

Your intellectual performance--at 21%. You are intellectual and intelligent, you wonder and you inquire before taking any action and setting your values.

Your thinking--at 20%. you are attuned to others and you show a good emotional intelligence, which allow you to give support to people.

Your management skills--at 17%. you are a manager and a structured person, you know how to take into account the needs of each person while leading them to the fixed goals.

Your imagination--at 17%. you are a creative person, with always new ideas, and you know how to apply them.

Finally, you are strong-willed and active, your actions are determined by your own will, by the goals you settled to yourself, and by your need to act and move ahead, you are creative, you know how to see beauty, you are intuitive and your inspiration comes from the inside.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Gatherings Giveaway

Pat of Gatherings has a lovely summer giveaway. I can attest that her hand-dyed ribbons are lovely and her design choices (graphics, colors, placement) are spot-on. I've learned a lot from her. It ends tomorrow, so head their now and add a comment! (Good luck!)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I don't have anything to show at all this week! I have been doing a bit of crochet but there's nothing to be seen yet. In addition to being tired from the conference, the weather and stress, most likely, have caused my vertigo to pop up again. I'm fine if I sit and don't move my head. It's not a bad bout (I've had it where I cannot move at all without severe nausea), and I think if the weather cooperates, it will fade soon. (keep your fingers crossed)

I've had good news about a friend--her breast cancer surgery went well and she won't need chemo or radiation!I'm also off for a long weekend come Thursday. My aunt will be turning 90 and my sister and I are heading out to the Party! I'm really exited about seeing the family. I will not be bringing the computer.

So, posting is going to be sparse to nonexistent this week into next. I do have a couple of cool links. Other people are posting very nice things!

Jessica on Zakka Life has a cool tutorial on how to make a Picnic Blanket Tote.

Tricia from Thistle Threads has a great new newsletter all about the very small companies who make the wonderful threads and fabrics that make us so very happy. I visited one of these companies, Benton and Johnson, on my first trip to London and I'll never forget the amazing things I saw there. You can sign up for the newsletter here. The newsletter doesn't appear to be on the webpage (although other cool things are), but if you send me your e-mail address, I'll forward it to you. I really enjoy her blog.

Kathy from The Unbroken Thread has been guest blogging on Mary Corbet's blog about designing an embroidery project from Italian pottery. This is a new blog for me and I'm enjoying it.

I've been doing some browsing (not buying yet) over on This and That from Japan on Etsy. I love their fabrics. And books.

At Painted Threads, Judy has been providing links to a series of really interesting tutorials (and posted one herself).


Saturday, June 19, 2010

I'm not doing any stitching at all right now. I'm in the midst of a conference and it's keeping me busy. I am getting in my short walk most mornings and things are blooming all over! So here's a garden tour. These photos were taken on June 13th. I'm not sure what the flowers above are. we have a few clumps of them.This is spider wort--like we saw at the Dunes, only this is a back-yard surprise. A neighbor has some and seeds must have blown over. We're pretty happy.My herb pots are doing good. I never let if flower but I decided to this year and see what happens. The pot has thyme and sage. On the ground to the right is oregano. We have tons of oregano plants--if you're in the Chicago area and want some, I'd be happy to share.Here's the volunteer dill, doing well. It usually gets Monarch butterfly caterpillars but it's still early. We grow the dill mostly for the butterflies, although I like it in salads, too.These are our favorites, gallardia. Now they only bloom out back in the alley. It used to be they were all up front. These day lilies are at the side of the house.I just love these yellow flowers.

Japanese Embroidery in Chicago

Registration for the Japanese Embroidery Studio with Karen L. Plater on September 27 – 30, 2010, in the Hyde Park area of Chicago, IL is now open!

A registration form is at the bottom of this post.

This is a mixed level studio with an emphasis on the traditional Phases of Japanese embroidery. Please contact me or comment on this post if you wish additional information.

The class will meet at Regent’s Park apartment complex, 5020 South Lake Shore Drive in Hyde Park for all four days. The class runs 9:30A-3:30P daily, with an hour for lunch.

We are limiting studio to ten students so that Karen can provide enough individual attention to each person. Places in the class are first-come, first served. Your registration will be confirmed by phone or email. My comments on our most recent class are here.

If you have begun a Phase piece at the Japanese Embroidery Center and wish to continue working on it under Karen Plater's supervision, you will be welcome. Please contact me and I will put you in touch with Karen.

Anyone registering after the class is full will be placed on a waiting list and will receive notification of wait-list status. Therefore, if you register and then find you cannot attend, please notify us as soon as possible. Per the class policies and procedures: Full refunds will be provided if notification is given at least 60 days before the class. For this class, the deadline for a full refund is JULY 31,2010. Partial refunds may be available with less than 6 weeks notice. If the class fails to meet the minimum number of students, full refunds will be made to all registrants.

Instruction fees for Studio time will be $40/day plus a daily Chicago fee of $30 (which covers the room rental) for a total of $70 per day.

The two day ‘Three Happiness’ class costs $150 TOTAL including supplies. (This is the piece I just started in May.)

Please let me know if you have any questions about class logistics.

Pre-planning is essential so that reservations for the classroom and air fare for Karen can be secured in a timely fashion. Please commit to this opportunity and send in your reservation by the deadline.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Scrappy Rug

Another conference is looming at work so I'm not doing much evenings. This is the start of a project from a couple of old dresses of mine. In 1997 when I was about to have my hip replaced, I knew what getting dressed would be like (no bending forward at all) and I knew what getting about on crutches for an extended period (about 4 months) would be like, so I bought myself a couple of simple cotton dresses from Sears that would be easy to put on, wouldn't ride up or untuck as I walked, and would be good for summer. I came to love those dresses and when they began to shred this year from wear, I decided I needed to replace them. I haven't yet settled in to the replacements, but they'll be okay. Or not.

I wore these dresses all of the time at home. They had paint, glue, bleach, ink--all sorts of things got on them. They lost their color. One had been chambray blue with little white flowers and the other a blue and pastel plaid. I did not want to give them up and by now they are so very soft.

I've been reading Spirit Cloth and others about reusing-recycling and I grew up with quilts with patches from this dress or that shirt. So it wasn't much of a stretch for me to decide to reuse the dresses. Last weekend I deconstructed them. The skirts were each a panel of nearly a yard square. (sometimes it pays to be hefty!) I also cut the bodices and pockets to have fabric for something quiltish I feel lurking about. But I ripped the skirts into 1-1/2" strips and began making a mat with my Aunt Philly's Toothbrush tool.

After I got going I realized I don't really use place mats and so I thought of a bathmat but we have a nice rug I like in the bathroom. Then I realized that I've been using a folded in half throw rug in the narrow space next to the bed. I needed a narrow rug for next to the bed.

So I turned the oval shape, which would be much too wide, into a rainbow kind of shape (the photo above). It was getting a bit awkward and curly. When that looked to be too wide too, I began to add on at the ends. More on this below.I ventured out with the camera early this morning (before 7am) and caught our neighborhood bunny at breakfast.This is a second generation of mushrooms in this nook. The first was tucked in next to the tree root. They don't last long. We've had a lot of rain this year and mushrooms are sprouting up everywhere--the lawns are full of them. I've never seen it before.So, here's my finished rug, photographed on the dewy lawn this morning. It had rained last night but was gorgeous today! I added strips on the end and then did one last ring all around. It's not quite 3' long. I think it will feel good under my feet.

As I was ironing my clothes for the week later on Sunday, I was eyeing some of my work dresses with greed. There's a vest with pretty machine embroidery... Some cotton pants are getting old... Puts a whole new perspective on things!

I'm looking at a road trip next weekend and thinking about what kind of project I could take. I can knit and crochet in the car, so I may do that and hope my hands hold up.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rainy weekend

We've had a string of off-and-on rainy weekends lately. Saturday we went to see the new Karate Kid. I really enjoyed it (and I hadn't expected to). I also spent time tracing the drawings for the crewel class. I found that the transfers really only worked once so I had to trace each design twelve times and iron each one onto the fabric. Where the lines weren't clear, I used a Pigma pen to draw them in. They're all done (I took this photo early Sunday morning when I was about half-way done). I figure each kit I make will take me about two hours of work, just kitting.On Sunday we drove out to the Dunes and sat for a while overlooking the beach. It was chilly in the shade where we had our picnic. We drove a bit down Lake Front Drive and visited the houses from the 1933 World's Fair.All are in some state of reconstruction. It's taking forever and we rarely see much progress on the outside. It has been fascinating to watch. They were all very badly deteriorated when the project began.This is our favorite, a Florida house with decks and patios overlooking the lake (if the shore erodes much more, it will be in the lake!)My hubby is reflected in the window--taking some serious photos.This is an oyster plant. We didn't know so we stopped at the Visitor Center and looked it up. Strangely, the park rangers didn't know what it was either. But we found it in the book they keep on hand.This is spider wort, in silhouette. They were everywhere near the dunes and just this year we have a few in our back yard (we're quite thrilled!) The plants are striking. Here are the blooms, pretty purple flowers:

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Waterfall Glen

On Tuesday night I drove out to Argonne to attend a meeting of the Waterfall Glen chapter of EGA. It was a ways and the night was rainy--it took me two hours to get there from work. I spent the time sitting on the expressway chatting on the car phone with Susan of SJ Designs. I used up all my minutes but it was lovely to have a nice long conversation rather than sending e-mails back and forth.Argonne is next to Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve--it looked inviting and I plan to get back that way and check it out. As I drove into Argonne I had to stop and the gate and receive a pass. Another Susan and registered me in advance. The place is HUGE! It was at least a couple of miles from the gate to the building the meeting was held in.My aim in visiting this group was to garner ideas for teaching needlework to new stitchers--children in particular. One outreach project they do each year is to set up and teach at the DuPage County Fair. Above is their chapter display, set up in the Home Arts Building with displays of needlework, sewing, and canning and vegetables.Above and below are pictures of the members teaching passers-by in the Home Arts Building.I did learn quite a lot about this project and about outreach in general. They certainly know a lot more about it than I do and I'm still digesting all that I learned. I was amazed and humbled by all this small chapter (30 members) has accomplished. (And none of it reported to the region or to EGA!!!--I brought a bunch of blank forms and left them with my pleas for some documentation.)

I felt extremely welcomed by this gracious group. Before the meeting, the one person I knew in the group, Joyce, introduced me by e-mail to Karen, who is in charge of the county fair event, to Susan, who got me the entry pass, and to Kathy, who is their president. Karen met me at the door. Kathy welcomed me at the meeting. Joyce was teaching that night but she took the time to make sure I wasn't left out of anything, as did most of the other members.

This is a bunch of creative ladies, too. One member showed for completed and framed samplers from a project taught at the previous month's meeting. The other show and tell was awesome, too. The project Joyce was teaching, a needlepoint cube, had specific parameters, but within those guidelines the members were being very creative with their own color and stitch selections.

I want to thank all of the members of Waterfall Glen for their caring, generous sharing of ideas and their wonderful suggestions. I was certainly wowed!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Camp Quality

This is the sample of our project for Camp Quality this year. Their theme for the camp is "boot camp" and each day will honor a branch of the military. This is "camouflage" yarn from Michael's. Pretty cool.

I'm now collecting shades of blue, for other branches of the military, and plastic canvas. We purchased the engraved dog tags. I think the kids will like this project. The plastic canvas is about business-card size.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Long week

Last weekend I was tired and sat and stitched quite a bit. I finished this little pincushion, based on a Japanese Yubenuki (thimble) design. The wonderful kit came from Chloe Patricia.I've been thinking about making beads using this technique so I tried a spur-of-the-moment (I-really-should-be-doing-other-things) bead. I used paper, fabric and sewing thread that were handy for the base and a hand-dyed thread from Art Fabrik.

It doesn't show a pattern. Partly because I only used one thread so there was no contrast. And partly because the triangles patterns traditional in yubenuki are based on the angle of the thread and there was little angle to this thread because of the bead shape. I figured that would happen (which is why I used a gorgeous thread), but I also suspected I'd learn a lot from doing it. I think I did. I'm not sure how to do a bead with a triangle pattern, but I have some ideas.

Mostly this week's been a bummer, on top of being very busy at work. I've now added acid reflux to my fun bag of issues I'm dealing with. Mostly, though, I feel bombarded by sad news. On Monday I learned a friend's mother had died. On Tuesday that a good friend died. On Wednesday that another friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. And because my friends and their families are sad, I'm feeling sad, too.

The string was broken today. Today I learned a friend was honored as the Swedish American Woman of the Year. I'm not sure if it's just for the Chicago area or for all of the U.S. (she'd deserve it, if it is). And, of course, the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup. We did not watch the game. We did hear the fireworks and tune in to the immediate post-game hoopla and replays and soaked in all of the good and happy feelings.

For many years I've likened my friend Mary Frances to the energizer bunny. Or one of those bop-ems from my childhood--a weighted shape that you could "bop" and they'd pop back up. I thought she'd come back once again from her most recent medical challenge, but I learned on Tuesday that she didn't.

She was one of the most individual people I knew. Mary Frances moved at her own speed (slow and steady) and she just kept going and going and going. At times I marveled at how she could be so slow--she'd often take twice as long as everyone else to get settled and set up for a needlework workshop. She'd contemplate and think and read the instructions and ask questions and then once she really grasped it, she'd begin to stitch. Meticulously. She never seemed to try to hurry to fit in. She taught me that you do your best when you pay attention and do what you need to do--no matter what everyone else is doing. (And she taught me patience when we were partnered.)

Mary Frances paid attention and was generous. She was interested in everything and would share her interests. She would bring books, embroideries, or threads to show me that she thought I would like, based on what she'd seen me doing or heard me discussing. She taught me to try and be more generous and really listen to others.

She didn't finish many projects, especially in later years, but when she did it was cause for joy. She got so much pleasure out of doing needlework. She taught me to persevere.

A rather quiet person, Mary Frances was the backbone of several of the embroidery groups I've belonged to. Always there, always helpful and knowledgeable and generous. I wish I'd learned her lessons better and that I'd slowed down more and listened more to her wisdom.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Out in the yard

Most of my photos last weekend were duds, with the light too harsh. These wild roses by the garage did nicely this year and the photo worked because there was shade.The huge catalpa tree was just beginning to bloom last Saturday. By Monday the entire 40'+ tree was entirely abloom and fragrant. It is glorious! The blooms don't last and are about done now. The tree is large enough I can see it over our little house--so I can see it every time I go out.Orange lilies are coming in now.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Long weekend projects

The first thing I did last weekend (once I found the missing cut fabric squares, mentioned here) was begin the kits for the crewel chatelaine project I'm teaching in July. This represents between 8 and 10 hours of work. I didn't stop for much all day. The needles are snuggled into felt pieces, the design fabric cut, finishing fabrics cut, and all of the Appleton crewel wools measured out and allocated. I still have to print the design onto the fabric (the part I'm most anxious about turning out right) and finalize and print the instructions.On Sunday I worked on the edging for this pillowcase--it came to me with the embroidery complete. I'm working on the second of the pair.Early Monday morning I completed step two of the altar cloth--adding a slightly less raised line down the center of each arm. It's been passed back to the church.On Sunday and Monday I worked on this scissors case. The Watercolors are what makes it work--it's pretty mindless. It's all lined and has scissors tucked inside. And quickly Monday night I finished up some bookmarks for the EGA's literacy outreach and Hammond Reads (more here).

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

for Averyclaire

On Friday my computer crashed with a virus. Happily, we have wonderful computer gurus who fix such messes and I'm more or less fixed. Right now it's like having a brand new computer with all of the configuring and setting up to be done over again. But it's great having it back! It also means I'm impossibly backed up and don't have time right now for a real post. Sorry. Here's some eye-candy.Last weekend was a great long weekend and I got a lot done. I ended up, however, spending hours sorting through things. Not because I wanted to, but because I couldn't find all those pieces of fabric I cut up early in May for the June guild meeting (which was last night). I finally found them, put away with other things that I wouldn't need right away. sigh.In the meantime, I came across a bag of fufos--finished unfinished objects. The stitching is done but the finishing isn't. Recently Averyclaire was worried about not finishing projects right away and I wanted to set her mind at ease--her few ornaments are nothing to worry about. So here are pix of my piles of fufos. (This is just one group of them. There are more.) Some need the expense of framing. Some need to be made up into ornaments or pillows. The dragonfly above--I have the perfect fabric for finishing it--but I've never been able to get the embroidery and the fabric in the same place at the same time to get on with it. And so it goes. Do you have piles and drawers of fufos, too?