Cross Stitch Patterns from Fine Art by Scarlet Quince
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Scarlet Quince Ramblings

Cross stitch ... art ... life

The completed alphabet!
Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

I finished this February 25. Very rude (or lazy) not to post a picture sooner.

alphabet

It’s a little ripply in the picture because taking the picture against a wall didn’t work, so I had to have someone hold it.

I plan to finish it as a banner and here are my notions (which I also bought quite a long time ago):

notions

There’s heavyweight non-woven interfacing, which the woman at JoAnn swore was fusible. Doesn’t look like it, but we’ll see. I don’t think I want to fuse it to the stitching — maybe just between and around the squares. I’m also not sure how I will make sure the squares are really square before I do the fusing. Then there’s ticking for the back and to make a frame. The lines will be vertical on the top and bottom and horizontal on the sides. This ticking has a cream background, rather than white. They had red and white, but the cross stitching doesn’t completely cover the fabric which makes it look a little dingy, so I hope that cream will make the stitching seem brighter. Also, if I recall, the red and white was that worst of all possible worlds, dry-clean only 100% cotton. And apparently I plan to make a border of bias tape. Forgot about that.

I’m not sure how I will make it hang flat. I don’t think the interfacing will make it heavy enough. There will be a pocket on the back at the top for a curtain rod, and depending on what kind of rod I get I might put another one at the bottom. Or maybe I’ll use curtain weights. I think I have some around somewhere, that I got for curtains that, when it came to actually sewing the weights on, suddenly seemed to hang remarkably straight.

I’ll be winging it, for sure. Hopefully I will feel motivated to drag out the sewing machine soon and see what happens. If anyone has done this, or anything like this, feel free to jump right in if you know good ways (or bad ways) to proceed.


Cactus flowers
Sunday, April 25th, 2010

My horse crippler cactus is in bloom!

Horse crippler

I find it so rewarding to have a cactus bloom. Mine only bloom once a year, if that, and the flowers are so beautiful.

Horse crippler flowers

Look at the shading, and the fringed petals. What can the purpose of the fringe be? I have no idea.

Fishhook cactus

The fishhook cactus, on the other hand, keeps getting bigger but has never bloomed. It’s really a magnet for oak leaves. Later I’ll take some tweezers and try to get the leaves out of it. It looks drab today but it’s really striking after a rain — the spines turn bright red.

Prickly pear

Nor has the prickly pear, although it gets several new pads every year. This is a blind prickly pear. It appears that there are no prickles on the older pads. Appears.

New pad

This is a new pad just getting started. The new pads are very cute, I think, with their little curly deals. I guess those are leaves, since the pads themselves are technically stems.

Think how excited I’ll be when these two bloom after years of keeping me waiting!


Spring flowers
Saturday, April 24th, 2010

We were given a tip that the flowers in the Poteet area (south of San Antonio) are beautiful and different than what grows around here, so a couple of weeks ago we made the trip, and they certainly are.

paintbrush

Masses of Indian Paintbrush (toward the back; closer is pink phlox, white daisies, and yellow evening primroses).

Phlox

Here’s a fringe of paintbrush in front, with phlox and white prickly poppy farther away.

Phlox and white prickly poppy

More phlox and white prickly poppy.

mix

Some places there was more of a mixture of flowers. This is (in front) Blue-Curls (Phacelia congesta), evening primrose (yellow), Indian Paintbrush (red-and-white), and phlox (pink); at the back the tall blue flowers are spiderwort (Tradescantia) and white prickly poppies. I didn’t make any effort to identify species for the most part, I just enjoyed the masses of flowers.

pink evening primrose

Pink evening primrose doesn’t have a smell you would notice in small quantities, but millions together have a distinct odor (and I can’t call it a fragrance).

purple prickly poppy

This purple prickly poppy (Argemone sanguinea) is worth a closer look. I’ve never seen it before. It only grows in south Texas.

more paintbrush

And more paintbrush. We drove in a loop from Pleasanton to Poteet to various county roads, back to Poteet (a move engineered by yours truly — the Poteet Strawberry Festival was going on and we stopped and got some shortcake) then on to Jourdanton and back. There were no bluebonnets in this area at all — they stopped a little ways south of San Antonio.

A few days later we drove the Willow City Loop. Willow City is a nearly non-existent hamlet a few miles northeast of Fredericksburg, but there’s a loop of roads there that is famous for its bluebonnets.

bluebonnets

There are hilltops where you can look down and see oceans of bluebonnets but it was a rainy day so they didn’t show up well from a distance.

white prickly poppy

I’ve never seen the white prickly poppy so lush. It reminded me of cotton fields (not that I’ve ever seen cotton fields).

celestials

Here’s a beautiful little iris called Celestials (Nemastylis geminaflora).

On the way back (we like to take FM 1323 to get to Willow City) we passed a donkey ranch. I love donkies so we stopped to look.

donkies

One of the donkies had a toy (it’s a donkey toy now; I couldn’t tell what ruined object it used to be) that another wanted very badly to get away from him. He would try to pull the thing out of the other’s mouth and when that didn’t work he’d bite him on the neck. It was so funny watching them play!


George Osiris
Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

The other day, I was out weeding (somehow there are a million tiny holly bushes coming up in my flower bed) and man driving past stopped and said “George Osiris, by the way.” I said “What?” and he repeated “Gorgeous irises”.

Iris

They are too. I have no idea what this one is; I can’t even remember what catalog I got it from. I guess I’ll call it George Osiris.


Gay Parasol
Monday, April 12th, 2010

Gay Parasol

Irises are my favorite flower, in case you can’t tell from all the iris patterns.

Gay Parasol closeup

I don’t grow them very successfully (and don’t know why) but I love them, not just the iridescence in the petals but the fragrance too. Usually Silverado and Edith Wolford make an appearance but I think the one other plant with a bud is another Gay Parasol. I have several kinds that have never bloomed, and probably wouldn’t know what they were at this point.


New computer blues
Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Several months ago, I had a problem with my computer which I was ultimately able to fix, but it took several days. I realized then that Scarlet Quince really needs a spare computer — there are spares of most other equipment, but not the computer. Unfortunately, aside from being busy, I really don’t like to shop and especially not for a computer. My last few have been Dells, but nowadays when you go to configure a system on their website, there are ALL these different processors and very little information about how they differ. Sometimes they don’t even tell you the clock speed. It’s like they’re not even trying anymore and it just makes me tired.

Luckily, a friend’s company benchmarked a bunch of processors and he said Intel’s i7 chip blew everything else away. So, armed with that hint, I went looking for a computer with an i7 processor. Now, generally, my instinct when buying something new (especially in the technology area) is to look for another exactly like what I already have. MRA’s instinct is to get whatever the very latest thing is. (It’s easy for him to have this instinct because I do all the system administration.) This time, he persuaded me to go with the 64-bit version of Windows 7. I found out that most of my old 32-bit software should run in some kind of compatibility mode (not my 16-bit copy of Quicken, which is so old that it has trouble with years after 1999, but I soldier on with it).

Unfortunately I didn’t think about device drivers. My printers and mouse are all pretty old (but good) and while they all work in some fashion with the new computer, it’s not the most desirable fashion. For example, HP put out a 64-bit printer driver for my color printer but they didn’t bother with the toolbox, so instead of clicking on a menu to align the printheads, you have to press and hold the Power button, press the Resume button two times, and then release the Power button. So instead of having a new computer and a spare, I now have a two-computer network. Fortunately my ancient database software works over a network, which never ceases to amaze me. (I think I bought it in 1995.) It’s not what I had in mind, but at least if one of the computers conks out, I’ll still be able to send and receive email. And I can work on gradually upgrading things.

The thing that bothers me the most (now that I have gotten the desktop icons not to be huge — funny how annoying minor issues can be) is that Windows itself doesn’t seem really stable. Stuff that was working half an hour ago stops working, and I either have to restart the program or (more likely) reboot. Not that we look for quality from Microsoft, although I’m sure things will get better as time goes on and they fix more bugs. On the positive side, this is a really fast computer. The hard disk is ridiculous — one terabyte. (By the way, if you want to look it up, it’s an HP Pavilion 170t.)

It has taken me several days to get things sort of limping along, and I’m still in the phase where every time I need to do something new, I have to install something else or reconfigure something. But maybe now I can start to get back to whatever I was doing before.




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