Monday, March 31, 2008

Whale of a time in Bermuda

We returned yesterday from a wonderful vacation in Bermuda. It was a fantastic experience. We rode horses on the beach, visited all sorts of beaches, toured houses, museums, the zoo and aquarium, even a perfumery. I am taking care of laundry, putting things away, and nursing a sinus headache that only Virginia can cause - Bermuda was relatively allergen free for me! So just a couple of photos of the trip. We took a back route through St. George's (a really lovely historic town) and I found the best place for me to live - Needle and Thread Alley!

Last time we went to Bermuda, the highlight of the trip was helmet diving in the reefs around Bermuda, which are justifiably famous. This time we couldn't helmet dive, although we did try to arrange it, but Easter was too early, so too far before the real tourist season for the dive boat to be ready. So instead we went on a whale watching tour. Despite a couple of members of the family getting sea sick (amazingly I wasn't too bad) it was an incredible experience. Here is one of my photos of one of the two young humpback whales that were swimming around our boat for a while. They kept going back and forth under the boat and checking us out. It was a glass bottom boat and when you looked down, you could see the whales clearly and several people, including my younger daughter, were able to see the whales looking up at them. She was thrilled!

Of course, this is a really poor photo, and wouldn't mean anything except for the fact the I took it and really saw the whales. If you want good whale footage, check out this video by Andrew Stevenson from YouTube:

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Everything and a new blog

If I were really vain (which I hope I'm not) I might start by reassuring my adoring fans that I am quite well despite my absence from this blog. But instead I'll just apologize to my few blog friends and Sister Stitchers for being such a poor correspondent these past couple of months. It really is frustrating when the paid work gets in the way. On the plus side, I know more about searching for gene sequences than I did back in January!

I have managed to fit a few stitching projects in though. I especially like having something to work on as I watch TV, the sitting doesn't seem quite so pointless, although when the new Jane Austen films have been on Masterpiece Classic (the new name) I haven't bothered to stitch. I didn't like the new Persuasion, but I guess that will be another post.
Anyway, I've finished the stitching on the Catherine Jordan Topiary Sampler piece that was a chapter program in January, so I'm ready for the finishing class in May. This piece was designed to teach the use of overdyed threads and was very, very good. We'll be creating pin keeps in May.

Speaking of the chapter, I've set up a blog and web site for the chapter. Google Docs doesn't support easy URLs, hence the blog to go with the web site. Take a look and let me know what I should add to the web site, aside from photos, which I need to get permissions for before I add them. I've also been in charge of getting a chapter square for the region banner, which will be at the 50th anniversary EGA national meeting this fall. We used our chapter logo, which was already charted for our nametags, and then Catherine Jordan (as well as an exceptional national teacher, she is also a member of my chapter) designed the bargello border for the square. It was stitched by various members and the lace cuff is a crocheted lace sample done by my great-grandmother. The overdyed ribbon is from Catherine, and I used floss colours to match the ribbon for the palette.

On the knitting front, I've been testing various lace patterns with the silk yarn I purchased for my own project, and so far nothing has been quite right. I'll keep trying, but with the daffodils out and the birds singing, my knitting season is almost over, so it may have to keep until fall. In the meantime, I'm taking a weaving class in April!