Friday, March 21, 2008

A thank you and some progress

I've been bad about blogging - I'm spending most of my time stalking the real estate websites looking for a house. (Yes, I have an excel spreadsheet for it. Shut up). It's not nearly as much fun as I thought it would be, and my eyes are starting to glaze over at the mere thought of looking at a computer screen. I have been trying to keep up with reading blogs, though. It's a welcome break from real estate listings.

I've also been bad about sharing something I got in the mail a little while back. Sweet Dianne sent me these two lovely ATCs (artist trading cards). She also sent me a Cape May Lighthouse chart - Thank you, Dianne!

Aren't these so cool? Dianne knows my fondness for lighthouses, so she featured one, along with the cutest sandpiper, on a card for me. And for my husband, she did one with goldfinches from an antique book! Goldfinches are his favorite birds, and he was really touched by Dianne's gift. She even included a "certificate of authenticity" to sign the cards.

And in keeping with a somewhat nautical theme, check out my new friend, the Blue Crab.

I picked up the kit for this one maybe last year or the year before at Sea Needles in Bethany Beach. All the DMC threads and Aida fabric were included, but I switched out the white Aida for a more sand colored lambswool Jobelean (I love, love, love this fabric) He's coming along quite nicely, especially since the chart and I have long since made peace. The pattern is done by a local artist, Judy Greer Carmean, and the chart is handwritten. I struggled to read it for a while, until I got smart and made a copy of the chart, which I proceeded to mark up with highlighters and colored pencils. Ahhhh! MUCH better. If you've never tried this and you're struggling with a chart, I urge you to try making a copy and use colored pencils to separate the various symbols. I picked up a pack of pencils and a sharpener that will have a permanent home with my other stitching tools.

This has been stitching up quite nicely and makes for a very relaxing evening. I have an attachment to crabs - both the crab motif and eating them. Hardshell crabs were popular with my family and we had them every so often - a big pile dumped on a paper covered table with a hole in the middle (and a bucket underneath for the shells). A little Old Bay seasoning and maybe some vinegar for dipping, and we were set. I got very good at picking the meat out of the crab, something that frustrates my husband to this day (he doesn't enjoy hardshells quite as much as I do). And I do like the crab motif - we have 2-3 crab ornaments for our tree, and I've been eying up a crab chip and dip plate at several beach gift shops.

Okay, I've fooled around long enough. Time to do my Friday Feast and get back to those listings!


Julie said...

Nice crab and nice gift too

Barbara said...

What a nice gift from Dianne! :D

Your crab is cool!

Kim B said...

Wow that is a great crab!

Kathryn said...

Love the crab. I always not only make copies, but I enlarge them (with overlaps) and use a highlighter to mark what I have stitched.


Pumpkin said...

Those are cool! What exactly are ATCs?

Your crab is so cute! I love crab and lobster but I do have a hard time cracking through those shells. Usually DH does it for me ;o)

tkdchick said...

Your WIP is looking good! I find it also takes time for your eyes to "adjust" to a handwritten chart.

K in NY said...

You're such a dork. An excel spreadsheet? Btw, when I finally start looking at apartments I'll be asking to [cough] borrow that spreadsheet, but you're still a dork :)

Really cute ATCs, congrats Dianne! The crab is a pretty start, love the colors. Thanks for the mini lesson on how to eat them.

Dianne said...

Your crab is coming along beautifully! We went to a picnic in Maryland and they had the same kind of spread with the paper on the table and the crabs. I don't eat them though.
You are again welcome for the ATCs. Making them for friends is the best.
Good luck with the house hunting too. I remember it took us a few months of looking and then we found this house when I was very pregnant. Not a good way to move in. Sean was born about 6 weeks after we moved in. And try to find the house of your dreams because you don't know if you'll be able to move again for a while if something comes up (learned the hard way, but have tried to make the most of it).