Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I have migrated my Sympathetic Threads blog over to WordPress, and so now have a new web address: My site here on Blogger will no longer be updated.

Thanks for reading me here! You are welcome to visit the new blog at any time.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


A couple of weeks ago I had a wonderful ramble around the Greek Glendi held at St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church. I so enjoyed the guided tour of the church with its Byzantine art that I went back for a second wander, and took loads of photographs of just about everything (with their permission, of course)!

The delicious and authentic Greek food that was served over the course of the four-day event was probably the biggest draw for the thousands of visitors who attended, but there was also plenty of dancing and live music highlighting Greek culture.

I especially enjoyed watching the kids dancing in their colorful and elaborate costumes, and all of the parents and grandparents looking on so proudly. And those Loukoumathes! Light and fluffy honey puffs served with syrup and dusted with cinnamon - just heavenly!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

17th Annual Scottish Highland Games & Celtic Festival

This guy wanted a photo of his girlfriend
and a cow. I daren't ask why.
This past Saturday I wandered around the Scottish Highland Games & Celtic Festival being held at the Sarasota Fairgrounds. I'm not Scottish (I think I am perhaps one-fourth Irish, through a grandmother who died 40 years before I was born) and I'd never been to this particular event before, but I thought it might make a fun afternoon out. Indeed it was! I met lots of nice folks, many of whom were researching their heritage, took plenty of pictures, and heard some very lively music by Albannach, a Scottish tribal drumming band. I even bought myself a present of a little silver Kells knot design pendant and a ring. I also came home with some delicious blueberry scones which I have been having for breakfast ever since, and some Empire Biscuits, which barely lasted out the weekend! So it was a very good day out all in all.
Albannach onstage.

HERE is a link to my best pics of the day.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The first stitching I've done in almost two years

Just had to post this as proof that I've actually begun a new project. Amazing how time gets away from one! Let's hope that this very brief beginning is followed by lots and lots more stitches. :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Endings and Beginnings

Amazingly, it's been almost two years since my last post here, so I intend to remedy that right now. :) I simply haven't been doing ANY stitching in the intervening time, which is why I've had nothing to blog about.

Frankly, after my mother's death in February of 2010 I lost the motivation to continue with any of my hobbies. You could say that I took a sort of sabbatical from crafting of any kind. I did run across my charts every once in a while, but didn't have the heart to work on any existing projects, or start any new ones. Since there was no point in pushing myself, I decided to just wait until I felt ready again.

It was just last week that I finally felt an urge to get back to my stitching. My big sister, who is also a crafter, is planning to visit at the end of the month. In preparation for her visit I started straightening the guest room, and found one of my many boxes of cloth neatly tucked away up on a shelf. This started me thinking about how I had shelved my current project basket those many months ago, and when I dragged it out I saw several envelopes full of charts that I had ordered back in 2010. Charts that I had so longed to work on once upon a time, but had abandoned. Loose charts that I had never even filed away for later. This made me sad.

So I took my big binder of charts from the shelf, dusted it off and started flipping through its pages. I suddenly realized that it needed a good deal of organization now, and that was something I felt I could probably handle. Adding the new charts to my log, slipping them into their plastic sleeves and sorting them into the book had me reminiscing a bit about all of the work I'd stitched in the past, and all of the wonderful designs I had yet to do. Something inside of me flickered a little, and right then I decided to begin something.

In my entrance hallway on one side of the large oval mirror hangs my Prairie Schooler "Welcome" blackbird. It used to reside in a glass topped tray, but didn't look quite right there to my eye, and so migrated to a frame I'd picked up on the cheap from Tuesday Morning. There exists a matching and still empty frame for its companion piece, which I'd always planned to hang on the other side of the mirror, but never quite got around to choosing or starting. Family issues and all that getting in the way. But now I've selected "Home Sweet Home" from the Prairie Schooler "Welcome Home" booklet #92 as my very next project. By stitching up this old design I can complete the hallway display that I planned so long ago, and in a way bring that chapter to a close. Perhaps then I will be ready to start something completely new. :)

But before I could begin I had to locate some matching cloth, and found to my disappointment that I had no more Fiddler's Cloth left in the correct shade. Not to worry, though, as I did have some left in a lighter ivory tone which I proceeded to tea-dye to the right color.

This experience was my first time ever tea-dying something, and I must say it was an easy exercise which took only a short time and gave me an excellent result. Now that I have my matching cloth ready, I must merely choose floss from my large supply and I can begin. :) Off to pick colors now.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

It's been a few months since I last posted

Due to my mom's death in February I haven't felt much of an urge to stitch recently. However, lately I find I have been thinking about cross-stitching now and again, and I even ordered some long-desired patterns from last week to try to tempt myself into picking up a needle. I don't know when I will start something, but you can be sure I'll post about it when I do.

And I have some good news to share, this month I became a great-auntie for the first time. :) Meet my nephew and niece-in-law's baby Natalie.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dear friends

My elderly mother became ill and passed away earlier this month. I just haven't had the heart to do any stitching for ages. I hope to take it up again later, but for right now a break is probably the best thing for me. My best to you all.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The never-ending story

My progress on the Mary Wigham sampler has been very slow, I just haven't had much time to stitch, or when I did my hands would not cooperate. Ah, the joys of getting older! lol I knew that this would be a lengthy on-going project when I started it, but I had no idea that I would still be working it after all these many months. Long ago I had to abandon my original (and what I thought quite achievable) goal of stitching just one motif of the chart each weekend, and merely fit in stitching on it when I can. But I decided to no longer obsess over getting this sampler finished by any self-imposed arbitrary deadline. I am still quite appreciative that offered this chart online for free, I only wish that the time I spend working it could equal their generosity.