Stitch Therapy

Discovering me … one stitch at a time

Category: art

Louvre Love

Dear Diary,

For our Summer vacation, we visited the Louvre. It was big and breathtaking.

We saw the Mona Lisa.

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We read a crazy statistic that 80% of people who go to the Louvre just look at the Mona Lisa and then leave. That seems like such a waste because there was so much more to see.

Those of you who have read my blog for awhile know that I love history and have a mild obsession with Henry VIII of England. Well, you can imagine how much I nerded out when I spotted this painting!

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Do you know who this is? It’s Anne of Cleves! Henry the VIII’s fourth wife! Back in the day, you couldn’t just ask someone to send a selfie when you were checking them out to be your 4th wife, so Henry dispatched Hans Holbein to paint Anne’s portrait. Henry liked the portrait enough to commit to marrying her, but when she arrived in England he was not pleased with her looks at all!!! So, what’s an obnoxious spoiled King to do but marry her anyway then annul the marriage in 6 months in order to take up with that trollop, Katherine Howard. What a jerky diss! But the best part is that Anne won out in the end. She got a nice settlement from Henry and they actually ended up becoming friends and confidants. She outlived him and all of this wives. Go Anne of Cleves!

Anyhoo, this is the ACTUAL PORTRAIT of her painted by Hans Holbein that started all of this drama. I just about died standing next to it!!!

Speaking of disses. I had to take a picture of this painting. It’s nice enough, right?

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Until you see the title which is “Portrait of an OLD LADY at 44 years old”. This 44 year old was not pleased.

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Tom liked this one. I wonder why? (insert eye roll) But look at the lady in the background embroidering. That’s redeeming.

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This has always been a favorite of mine.

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And this. Swoooon.

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I can’t imagine what it would be like to paint something so huge.

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Some of the halls were truly over the top.

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You can definitely picture this guy galavanting around in these rooms.

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You can’t tell from my sucky photo, but these colors were so rich.

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And, of course, Rembrandt.

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And check out the size and detail of this tapestry. Perhaps inspiration for my next project? Ha!

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Next up… Parisian cross stitching adventures…

Until then, hope you’re having a great weekend!

Ooh la la

Hi Blog.

Sometimes when I have a lot to write about, I get overwhelmed and avoid writing altogether. Actually, that applies to pretty much every area in my life, not just writing.

But today I’ve decided to JUST DO IT, so here goes…

Our trip to Paris was pretty great. I won’t bore you with all of the details, but here are some of my favorite memories.

I KonMaried my suitcase. Don’t ask how it looked on the way home. Let’s just say that KonMari would not have been impressed.

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On the first day, we went to Sacré-Cœur and Montmartre. Sacré-Cœur creeped me out a little. I don’t know why, maybe just the thought of all the stories held within those walls.

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I insisted that we walk to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. I took the same photo when I was there in January, but this one is better because Tom’s feet are in it too. Everything is more fun with my partner in crime.

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Notre Dame is pretty impressive. I couldn’t get over how old it is (construction began in 1163!!!). Can you imagine carving all of this by hand! With no electricity!

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I am ashamed to admit that I may have checked Pokemon Go while at Notre Dame (I know… I know) but Pikachu FINALLY showed up! And the worst part is that I was so busy taking pictures of him to send to Littlest at home that he GOT AWAY!

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One of many random stately buildings.

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Le sigh. So charming.

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We enjoyed strolling on the quais along the Seine. They had set up a little “Paris Beach” on one of the quais which was kinda weird and hilarious. Here is Tom mid- “Bonjour!”

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We ate and ate and ate… bone marrow and escargot and fois gras and Tartare de Filet de Boeuf (i.e. RAW STEAK) and more baguettes than I could count (needless to say, I fell off the gluten free diet).

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I was particularly fond of the super indulgent flower-shaped gelatos.

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When we go out to dinner in the US, I always try to convince Tom to same-side-sit with me and he refuses, but in France, EVERYONE same-side-sits! In fact, they MAKE you same-side-sit even if you don’t want to!

We spent a full day at the Louvre and LOVED it (sorry for the excessive capitalization) but that deserves an entire post of its own because it was AMAZING (there I go again). The gardens! The artwork! The history! MON DIEU!

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Yeah, the Eiffel Tower. So cliche, but what can you do?

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And! You better believe that I had some cross stitching adventures! More coming on that too!!! Here’s a teaser.

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Le OMG! French cross stitch patterns! I died and went to heaven!

All in a day’s work

Helloooooo Friday!

Yesterday the boys came to work with me for Take Your Child to Work Day.  We have a big art department, so they got to spend their day sculpting and painting and creating various works of art.

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When I stopped in to check on them, my little joker was eager to show me his sculpture of a poop emoji. #proudmommoment

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It was a little sad to go into the office today without my little buddies, especially since they left behind reminders of their visit such as:

a portrait of Charlie on my drawing table

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a very brightly painted fox on my desk

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some kind of Pokemon sculpture

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and a little polaroid to remember them by.

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Have a great weekend!

Pipe Dreams

Friday 5PM… Tom and I go out for a date night! Sushi (yay!) and a visit to a cool new art supply store near us. I buy stuff to do some linoleum block printing. All is well.

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Friday 9PM… Tom discovers that the utility sink in the basement has overflowed and flooded the basement. The new rugs that I just showed off in my last post are destroyed.

Saturday 8AM… Plumber 1 comes and says there’s a block in our sewer line which he can’t snake. Plumber 2 comes to camera it and only sees black water. They tell us that we have to dig through the foundation and replace the sewer pipes. It will cost thousands of dollars. We can’t use any water in the house until at least Wednesday.

Saturday 3PM… We decide to go stay at the beach house which has working toilets and sinks. Toilet flushing feels luxurious.

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Sunday all day… We try not to think about plumbing woes, go for long walks, and recreate bitmojis in real life after we find this sign in an old fashioned 5&10 store. Die laughing.

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I see this, but am able to exercise control and not buy it.

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Monday 6AM… The sun rises

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Monday 8AM… I cross stitch.

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Monday 2PM… Head back home. Charlie pees in the car.

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Monday 8PM… Go to dance class and learn the cha-cha. Giggle hysterically during the move where you “chase” your partner across the dance floor. Take turns chasing each other.

Tuesday 8AM… Insurance adjuster 1 comes to look at the basement. Plumber 3 comes to give us another opinion. He says we need to dig up the yard, not the basement. Draws lines for the digging. It will still cost thousands of dollars and the work can’t start until at least Friday.

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Tuesday all day… At work, thinking about how many months of work it will take to pay for plumbing and try to pee as much as I can at the office so that I can hold it all night.

Tuesday 9PM… Bedtime finally! Yay!

Tuesday 9:30PM… Tom hears running water in the basement as he’s locking up for the evening.

Tuesday 9:35PM… Discover the utility sink is SPEWING SEWER WATER everywhere and WON’T STOP! Floors are FILLING WITH SEWAGE!!!

Tuesday 9:45-midnight… Chaos. The township sends an emergency crew with huge trucks and lights. They find that it is the main sewer line in front of our house that has major blockage, not our line. They are able to stop it. On a bright note, our plumbing now works fine! I celebrate by flushing a toilet.

Wednesday 12:30AM… I go online to file a new insurance claim.

Wednesday 8:30AM… Clean up and restoration company comes to clean out the basement.  I hide in the bedroom alternating between crying about the mess and feeling thankful that we no longer have to do a major dig.

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I call this photo “Blooming Dogwood Against Township Sewer Truck.” So artistic, right?

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Wednesday 9AM-3PM… Talk to insurance people on the phone, including one person who can’t figure out how to fax OR email me a document.

Wednesday 3PM… Insurance adjustor #1 comes back.

Wednesday 8PM… Go to bed.

Accomplished

Hi Blog.

Behold… a cross stitching miracle…

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I finished the skirt! I don’t know why it has taken me so long. My heart just hasn’t been in it. But it’s done! Hooooo-ray!

This has felt like a long week (so much to do!) but at the same time like a fast week (no free time!). Isn’t it weird how it can feel like both things at once? How is that even possible? Doesn’t that go against all the laws of time and space?

Our accomplishments this week included:

Looking cute

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Getting a lot better at roller hockey. Check out #5! That’s my boy!

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Reinterpreting George Rodrigue’s Blue Dog paintings if Blue Dog was into skateboards.

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Finally mastering 5th grade fractions!!! Hallelujah!

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Charlie thinks that homework time also means chin scratching time.

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Did you have a good week? Happy Friday!

Friday!

Things that make me smile today:

An overnight dusting of snow. Just enough to look pretty but not enough to make life difficult.

Doodling.

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No meetings on the calendar.

My ever growing collection of F mugs.

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Dance class with Tom. (This one requires explanation.) We were feeling burnt out lately between work, and chores, and kid stuff, so decided to do an activity just for us. We signed up for ballroom dance classes! Last Monday was our first class… the basic “slow dance.” We giggled the entire time!

Eating blood oranges while learning fractions.

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Tarot cards with Charlie.

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Uncomplicated but highly satisfying carbs.

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Hellooooooo Friday!!!

A Simple Home

Hi Blog!

Where did this week go? Last night we had crazy thunderstorms. Thunder is kinda cool, but it keeps me up, which is not cool. Insomnia = baking.

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Stephanie and I went to an antique place last weekend. I got this.

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At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about it, but the sales ladies were staring me down as I was making my decision and it was only $14, which is something a bargain shopper like me could not resist. It’s growing on me now, but I feel like I am walking that fine line between decorating my house with “vintage character” and decorating my house “like a granny.”

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I also made a second batch of deodorant bars. So far, they are working really well. The true test will be when Summer comes. They will have their job cut out for them.

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The other night, during a different bout of insomnia (do I sense a theme?), I wrote down all of the things that we have been doing towards our goal of living more simply and naturally. It included fun stuff like making our own deodorant and soap and cleaning supplies and basic but useful stuff like recycling old tshirts into rags and using cloth napkins. I felt really proud once I realized how many of these things have become part of our daily routines.

Speaking of daily routines, Sammy has found a new favorite napping spot… the hamper. He seems to prefer it when it is filled with the smelliest boy socks.

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And then there’s Charlie. This is his favorite place these days, sitting and watching the birds flutter by. I think he’s as excited about Spring returning as I am.

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And as for me, I’ve been sketching…

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And stitching. I finally tackled frogging and re-stitching the ghoulish lady.
Remember all that fuss over her skin?

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So that about sums up the latest around here. What’s new in your world?

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