Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Another Kind of Stash

Fall may be my favorite time of year. No, not the turning of the leaves, because the trees around here rarely turn colors. No, not just the cooler temperatures, though they are appreciated, especially if the pool is still warm. But fall is the start of the Publishers Sweepstakes! No, not that silly contest you get in the mail. This is the hot time of the year to publish the most (and the best) books for consideration for yearly awards. If your book was published in January, most reviewers will have forgotten it by now. People just want beach reading in the summer, so starting in late August and early September, we get to see some really great books from some really great authors. Some of them have been published recently to avoid the fall rush. I ordered a bunch of books from Amazon while we were in Hawaii, knowing that they would be waiting for me when I got back and that I would have them to read on our trip to Denver. I've already finished An Autumn War by Daniel Abraham. Only book three of four, but I have been waiting for them all since I finished the first one. As you can see, although I predominately read science fiction, there is a mystery there from Laura Lippman and a novel by Douglas Coupland. I have been reading his quirky novels since Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture. How could a tech geek not love the author of Microserfs? I want to finish these all before Anathem by Neal Stephenson comes out on September 9. That book will be huge and take a long time, even for me, to read. (Woo! Hoo! UPS just delivered Lord Tophet by Gregory Frost. The first book in this series, Shadowbridge, has been on my Top Five Hugo List for 2008 list since I read it.)

But that doesn't mean I have been neglecting my stitching. I have a little more done on Bad Hare Day. More letters, more borders, more stars, and more rabbit. Though it looks like I won't be able to finish it in July, unless our friends arrive even later than they are supposed to. We have two friends driving down from the San Francisco Bay Area for the weekend. They may arrive this evening, or tomorrow, or Friday... I love Elisa, but she once was 12 hours late for a meeting. With her it is always just one more thing. Since we are mostly concerned with packing up for our drive to Denver starting on Monday, whenever she gets here will be just fine.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Quickest Ornament Ever!

I think I really needed a quick finish, especially when it comes to Christmas Ornaments. I haven't been in the Christmas mood, so some stitching I could finish quickly was the only way that I was going to get a Christmas Ornament stitched this weekend.

This is a kit from Mill Hill Tiny Treasured Diamonds, Engraved Heart, MHTD4. It's just 34w x 36h, but there actually isn't any cross stitch on it. It's just large star stitches (in a very nasty gold metallic thread) and beading. It was so fast that I stitched it in almost one sitting. I was working so quickly that I didn't even take a picture of it when I finished the main stitching (beading) and it was still flat. I just went right on to start stitching the back closed and adding the hanger and fringe. Now the eternal question. There are some beads and threads left over, keep or throw away? I will probably keep the beads and throw away the threads. I only keep kit threads if they are clearly marked (DMC or Weeks Dye Works or GAST) and there are a lot of them.

I would like to thank Itching to Stitch for giving me the Kreativ Blogger Award. It is always an honor to be recognized by your fellow stitchers. But I can't stop stitching, so now I will go back and cut out the knot on Bad Hare Day and continue on with it. I will have a few days of stitching before our friends come on Thursday or Friday. I would really like to finish Bad Hare Day before we leave for Denver. Two finishes in one month. Imagine!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

When Your Favorite LNS Has a Sale...

you end up with Stash Accum-ulation. Of course, I had to stop by The Status Thimble when I was in the San Francisco Bay Area. And they just happened to have a 15•15•15 Sale. Fron July 15, 15 days of sales at 15% off (or in this case at 25% off). So maybe I did go a little wild. I finally got the JCS Ornament Preview issue and actually like the Ink Circles design Tanglewood better than the ornaments. Since I am enjoying Bothy's Cut-Thru Rocket, I picked up Bothy's Cut-Thru Lighthouse (chart only). It has a mermaid in the bathtub. Following the mermaid theme, I also got Carriage House Samplings The Haunting Mermaid. I also picked up some threads and some 28 count bright white Jobelan for the sheep I couldn't stitch in Hawaii. Then a Just Nan Halloween pattern, a kit with with cats and a needlepoint canvas by mindy. I really like her red and black canvas that I was working on.

Maybe I am ready to stitch some Christmas now. Which is a good thing because this weekend is the Christmas Ornament Stitch-a-Long. I have a teeny, tiny kit to work on when we get back to Nevada this evening. I should be able to finish-finish it by tomorrow. Then I want to finish Part One of Hawaiian Mandala and work some more on Bad Hare Day. I need to finish ONE thing I have started before starting another. The taxi will be here soon. Talk to you again when I finish the Christmas ornament.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

More Stitching or KNOT!

I did manage to get some of the back stitching done on Rocket before we left this morning. It certainly looks more like a real rocket this way. I also got some more cross stitching done, too, because I can only backstitch for so long (look at the pattern, take a stitch, look at the pattern, think about taking a stitch, but look at the pattern again to make sure). I don't know exactly how much I will stitch this when we get back to Nevada. I do want to finish at least Part One of Hawaiian Mandala when I get back. As long as Rocket is finished by the end of the year, I can put it down for a while. I don't think I will take it to Denver.

Now this one is much closer to being finished. I thought I would get a lot more done on the plane, but I ran into trouble. Not the dreaded frogs, but the dreaded KNOTS.

How did I possibly get two strands of thread this knotted up and how can I get out of it? I suppose cutting it is the only answer. Well, I do have tons of this WDW Crimson left and there isn't much to be stitched here. I should stop driving myself crazy trying to unknot it and just move on. But it did mean that I spent more time "playing" with thread on the plane than I did actually stitching. Sigh. I won't get much time here in San Francisco to stitch. I'm going to go out shopping tomorrow and I have a hair appointment at 4:15 pm. We are meeting some friends for dinner Friday night. Saturday we will be up bright and early for the Saturday Farmers Market and back to Las Vegas early Saturday evening. Maybe I could rest again some, but the friends we are having dinner with are also coming to visit us in Vegas starting next Thursday and we leave for Denver a week from Monday. It's been a while since we have had a driving trip and I am looking forward to it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Not So Much

This was the Stitch-A-Thon weekend. I did some stitching on Friday and a lot more on Saturday. I wanted to get this top section of Rocket done before starting on the extensive backstitching. I thought I would do the backstitching on Sunday, but instead I spent most of that day wrestling with united.com.

I am the travel agent for the family. We make almost all of our travel arrangements online so that we can pick the exact flights and seats that we want. We try to make most of our arrangement at least six months ahead of time. So it was time to nail down the rest of our travel until the end of the year. Making the arrangements for Lexington for Christmas was easy, but getting the overseas flights to Lisbon for October was a nightmare. Sometimes I know United has a particular flight at a particular time, but their website refuses to allow me that choice of flight. Instead we went around and around about flights from Las Vegas to Montreal to Munich or San Francisco to Newark to Frankfort. But if you are very, very persistant and specific, you can eventually get the exact flights you want and the exact seats. We are now booked on a San Francisco flight directly to Frankfort, then Barcelona for a couple of days, then Lisbon where we will get on a cruise ship for two weeks. After the cruise we will spend a few days in Lisbon, then Frankfort, San Franciso, and eventually Las Vegas. I know I will get a lot of stitching done on the boat, but I have no idea what kind of internet access will be available. Previously it has been none (the Ukraine) to some (a very odd keyboard in a small Paris hotel) to very, very expensive (London). I doubt I will get more than a couple of posts, if I am lucky, in October.

Since Edgar had so kindly sent me the WDW Cocoa that I needed for Bad Hare Day, I had to sit right down and stitch some. I just got started on the ears, but I don't want to stitch too much more right now, since this will be my airplane piece. If I get too far ahead, I will have nothing to stitch during the long flight back to the mainland on Thursday. Yes, we leave again on Thurday morning. I can't believe that we have been here a week and a half. Maybe that is because the long list of projects that we should have been working on here has been sadly neglected. I am still determined to get the headboard in the Master Bedroom hung on the wall and a bit of the mess in the laundry room cleared up. That still leaves a lot of windows yet to be covered and the office, library, and guest room untouched. Maybe when we are back here in September we will have more energy to get things done.

Right now I'm going to start on the Rocket backstitching. Here's to a productive week to everyone.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sometimes Simple is Best

It's always nice to get a present. It's always nice to get some stash you have been waiting for. But sometimes you don't need a bunch of things to feel ecstatic. Sometimes you just need that One Right Thing. Most of you reading this blog probably know Edgar of Blacksheep's Bit of the Web, but if you don't, go over and read his blog right now.

Now that you are back, you know who I have to thank for my One Right Thing today. When I was leaving for San Francisco, I realized that I could not find the Weeks Dye Works Cocoa that I needed for Bad Hare Day. The sewing/stitching room is in a bit of mess right now, so not finding something in there is not exactly a surprise. I wrote Edgar to find out if I could buy some Weeks Dye Works in San Francisco, since I would be there for only one day and would be without a car. But there really isn't anywhere in the city to buy cross stitch threads. I would have to travel to Alameda or Burlingame. In the end I couldn't really go, so I asked Edgar if he could send me the one skein I needed and it arrived today.

THANK YOU, EDGAR!!!!


This was just in time. I have been having trouble sleeping lately. I tried to stitch on Rocket after dark, but although I did not attract the frogs, I was less than happy about the experience. So last night I picked up Bad Hare Day again and got in some more border and some more letters. With the skein of Cocoa I will finally start the bunny in the middle. Yeah!

On a totally separate topic, Meari asked if I had any trouble taking pictures of food in restaurants. Well, actually, I think it resulted in some confusion, but certainly in our favor. First let me say that taking pictures of food in restaurants is a been around since the web started supporting pictures. There are tons of food blogs that are nothing more than pictures of food. Certainly there are many different food groups on Flickr. I posted those pictures on yelp.com where I also do reviews. I don't take pictures of everything I eat, but I certainly took a lot of pictures (all 24 courses) when I ate at Alinea in Chicago and I wasn't the first to do that. I don't know why I decided to take pictures at Haliimaile General Store, but I had my camera and the food was lovely. This is a fine dining restaurant, so we don't expect it to be as quick as Burger King. Still there was a noticable wait between the appetizer and our main courses. At least our main courses were still warm and presentable, unlike the cold pasta that we were once served in Palo Alto. My husband and I were chatting amiably and didn't really mind the wait. The confusion occured when we were presented the bill. The hostess apologized profusely for the delay in our entrees and comped us our drinks and dessert. We had no idea why they did that as we didn't complain and were perfectly happy to sit there and talk. The only reason we can discern for the comps was the presence of the camera. Did they think we were going to review the restaurant and trash the service? Hardly. I've eaten there a dozen times and have already posted glowing reviews. Well, we tipped the waitress as if we had not been comped and plan to return again, so I guess the comps were not a huge issue. Though I wonder if we would have been comped if we had been pushy and rude.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Food Glorious Food

I seem to be obsessed with taking pictures of food. Maybe it's because of all the food I'm seeing on blogs participating in NaBloPoMo. It started yesterday with our lunch at Haliimaile General Store. I missed taking a picture of the appetizer of Asian Duck Tostada, but kicked in with my lunch of Wild Grilled Salmon with Garlic Spinach, Applewood Smoked Bacon, Grape Tomatoes and Lemon Dill Mayonnaise. Yes, it was just as delicious as it looks. Though the portions there are generous, so James ate half the salmon and the crisp tortillas were only nibbled at.

James, on the other hand, was craving a burger and what better burger to eat than a Kobe Burger on a Brioche bun with the perfect tomato, White Cheddar Cheese and Hand Cut Fries?

To go along with all that luciousness, they presented the perfect condiments -- homemade ketchup, homemade mayonnaise, and Dijon mustard. Aren't they pretty? I will be thinking of them the next time I grab the leaky Heinz ketchup bottle from the refrigerator door.

It all ends with the perfect dessert. Fresh, Grilled Pineapple Upside Down Cake. I must admit I have had more good Pineapple Upside Down Cake in Maui than anywhere else, It doesn't hurt to have it topped with homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.

To end, a photographic confection. I don't know if this picture will even be visible on your computer. But I had trouble sleeping last night. At about 3 am I saw the moon lighting a path on the Maui Channel. I used a tripod and an 8 second exposure to get this shot, but needed a LOT of fiddling in Photoshop to get a recognizable image. Too bad that cameras do not have the light range of the human eye. This was really, really lovely.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Good Start

Nope. Didn't leave the house again yesterday, but I did get a good start on Bothy's Cut-Thru Rocket. This picture shows off the sparklies in the fabric well, though it depends on what angle you are holding the fabric whether you see them or not.

I've already made my first change to the pattern. Those yellow lightening bolts at the top are the Supertwist thread. They looked a little skimpy in the picture, so instead of two threads I increased it to four threads. I might run out of Supertwist, but there are some blended stitches with Supertwist and white. I can always use some Kreinik there instead.

I have a large window behind my stitching chair, so I found stitching on even this dark fabric pretty easy as long as it was sunny. In the evening we switched from watching movies to continuing on with Homicide. We bought the entire desk drawer of all the television episodes some years ago and watch 5 - 10 episodes most times that we are here. We watched two last night and finished up Year Three. Will probably start Year Four tonight.

Today we leave the house! Yes, it's time to do a little research on some A/V replacement equipment. I've read a few reviews online and could order something online, but I'll see what's available on island first (probably not much. This isn't Honolulu.) It also gives me an excuse to go to one of my favorite restaurants for lunch, Haliimaile General Store. It's way over on the other side of the island, so we don't make it over there every trip. There are some people that live here that haven't even been to Lahaina in 30 years! That is really staying local.

Monday, July 14, 2008

It's a Rocket!

Or maybe I should say, "It will be a rocket." I've decided to start on Bothy's Cut-Thru Rocket. All those bright colors were simply too tempting, even if the fabric is dark. This is a kit, but I have replaced the plain navy Aida with Silkweaver Midnight Fantasy 32 ct Opalescent Belfast Linen. The package says 13" x 18", but the cut is actually 17" x 26". The pattern covers 10.25" x 13.75". Mmmm, extra fabric for ornaments? The thread included is Maderia, which I have never used, though I have some in my stash. There is also a sparkly thread called "Supertwist". It looks a bit like Krenick Blending Filament or maybe a bit thicker.

This is not to say that I have totally abandoned Bad Hare Day. I did more of the border and a couple more letters yesterday. I suspect that I will work on this in the evening rather than the Rocket.

We never left the house yesterday. I suppose that we will need to do a few chores before we leave here, but we are sneaking up on them gradually. Maybe we will make a list today. I did successfully update my iPhone to v2.0 software yesterday. Many people were having trouble with this when the software was released on Friday, so I suspect that waiting actually saved me a bit of grief. Besides I have enough grief with our home theater. We tried to add a PS3 to the system (for the Blu-Ray player) the last time we were here and could only get picture, but no sound. Now the television signal is giving us sound and no picture. At least it is only summer, so we don't watch much television anyway. And the DVD still works, so we could watch From Here to Eternity. Next up The Philadelphia Story, Some Like It Hot, and Around the World in 80 Days (1956). All of these are DVDs that James inherited from his "Cousin" Wilfred. They include lots of '40s and '50s musicals and every CD of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, and other singers. Wilfred was a world reknowned expert on Ella Fitzgerald and published her definitive discography.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Decisions, Decisions...

I brought a lot of stash (for me) to Maui, though not as much as Ruth brought to her housesitting "vacation". Now I have to decide just what to work on. The centerpiece is Bothy's Cut-Thru Rocket. It's on my yearly goals list, but I knew I wouldn't get started on it until the convention was over. Now would be the perfect time to start, but I would only be able to work on it during the day since it will be stitched on dark navy opalescent fabric. Then there is Three Gables from the Cricket Collection. I have had this kitted up for years, but haven't started. It's also on somewhat dark 30 count fabric, so night stitching may be a little challenging. I could just work on Bad Hare Day (see? more of the border is done!) or Flower Fairy and be a Good WiP Worker. I can't work on the sheep until I get some 28 count bright white. The other kits are smalls that I brought for airplane stitching, so I probably won't start on any of those. And just to confuse things a bit, I also have two needlepoint kits here that I could start, but without stretcher bars, I probably won't start them. I almost brought Pineapple Fish with me, but knew this lot would be enough to keep me busy for two weeks. If only I could decide. Maybe I will go back and work on Bad Hare Day some more. I can do that for a couple of more hours until I get too close to needing the Weeks Dye Works Cocoa that should be arriving in the mail by the end of the week. I hope everyone had a relaxing weekend.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Don't Kit While Asleep!

Here is my newest start, Bent Creek's Bad Hare Day. I stitched the border and H, I, J on the plane and the rest of the letters and star last night. Have I fallen into a habit of only stitching monochrome patterns? Rouge is mostly red, Hawaiian Mandala mostly blue, and this is mostly brown, even though the star is GAST's Tarnished Gold. I thought I had everything correctly kitted up to start a Kit & Bixby sheep, but no. I cut out fabric of the right size (the same as Bad Hare Day), but somehow I didn't read the count correctly and both of the pieces of fabric are Antique White linen in 32 count. The sheep should be on 28 count (better for stitching on planes). Also, although the Kit & Bixby sheep say to use Antique White, when I was ironing the linen on a white towel I noticed that this linen is more ecru than white. The fabric looks fine with Bad Hare Day, but the sheep is predominately gray, so I really think it needs a bright white as shown in the model. I might even be able to buy some here on Maui at Ben Franklin's, who carries a few DMC threads and cross stitch supplies.

The other problem with this pattern is though I know that I bought all the threads from Stitcher's Paradise when I bought the pattern, I just could not find the Weeks Dye Works Cocoa. Did I forget to put it away? Did I pull it out for use with another pattern? This wouldn't have been an issue if we hadn't been leaving. But in all of San Francisco, there are no cross stitch stores. Yes, some lovely needlepoint stores, but none that carry Weeks Dye Works. My husband had the car all day Thursday, so I will have to rely on the kindness of a stitcher to get this finished in Maui (which also has no cross stitch specialty stores).

We are here safely on Maui. I have to say it is absolutely gorgeous here. Warm, yes, but the breeze keeps you cool. I have very little planned except stitching. OK, like any house there are a dozen small projects that need doing, but if they don't get done, no one will notice except us.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Couldn't Resist

When I was looking for designs to stitch on the top of Altoids tins, I did download some freebie patterns, but then I found all these wonderful patterns from Samplers & Such. No, I did not buy them all, but I guess I bought a lot. I kept finding one that I thought, "Oh, this would be perfect for...". The only sad thing is that I did not have time to kit them up. So when we get back to Nevada again, I will work on finding linen and threads to start making these. Actually they will be perfect small projects to do on the drive to Denver we will make at the beginning of August.

And while I was building a little stash, I checked out the sales pages at Wyndham Needleworks and found these sheep that I just had to rescue. I have two other Kit & Bixby sheep, so I am working on a flock. I do enjoy shopping at Wyndham Needleworks. Although I am not an antique sampler kind of gal, they did have the R&R linen I needed for a Halloween house I have had kitted up for years. Look for it to make it into my semi-rotation sometime soon.

We are in San Francisco today, but leave for Maui very early tomorrow morning. I did work a little more on Flower Fairy last night, but mostly spent time having a lovely dinner from our local restaurant, LuLu's, which is around the corner from our loft. When we get to Maui it is just stitch, stitch, stitch (and maybe make a curtain for the office from fabric that we are bringing from California). I hope everyone has wonderful plans for this weekend.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Stitching Progress

I better post a Before picture since I haven't worked on this pattern since December, 2007. This is Flower Fairy (specifically Lily of the Valley), a DMC kit that I started last year. I started it because of Project Spectrum, a Flickr group that picked three colors to concentrate on for inspiration every two months. April and May of 2007 were green, yellow, and pink. But even though I liked the discipline of working in a limited color palette, two months is never enough time to finish a medium sized cross stitch project unless you do nothing but stitch. So when May was over I moved to the next three colors and only sporadically stitched this. It is small enough to travel with, but too high a count (32) to stitch on an airplane. Still when it is done it will be lovely.

Since I was in quite a hurry when I left for Westercon, I just grabbed my travel bag. This was the only kitted up piece in it, so on Sunday night I got it out again and started stitching. I wanted to finish at least the top half of the pattern (down to the top of the wings), so I concentrated on the face and hands. I'm not sure why I didn't do them before since they were fairly small areas. I didn't even mind the small count since Hawaiian Mandala is the same count and the same "counting every stitch to keep your place". Then I started back on the white dress and remembered why I had put this aside. I can stitch green and blue all day, but two of three needlefuls of white and off white and light beige and ecru and I want anything with color. I guess that is why a lot more of the greenery and the wings are stitched than the dress. But I worked on it Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday and did get some progress. I will even work on it in the next two weeks. I probably should go back and get some of that backstitching done. There is a ton of it.

We leave for the airport in a couple of hours. First to San Francisco where James has meetings, then Maui on Friday. I'm not going to try to stitch on the SF flight. It is just too short, but I will have something else kitted up for the flight to Maui. Now I am like Ruth and am taking a large chunk of my stitching closet with me. I don't know if I will start Bothy's Cut-Thru Rocket, but I can't stitch it on the plane (too large) or in the evening (stitched on dark navy opalescent fabric). I just might have a sheep or two around here to keep me company. See you again tomorrow with some stash.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Successful Convention

From a meeting of Asian Real Estate Brokers to Westercon 61 to Dance Caravan, a convention center is always a flurry of people moving in and moving out. The convention started for us on Tuesday night, when Jerome and Elizabeth, heads of the Art Show, came to our house to pick up the mail-in art.

On Wednesday morning we loaded up the car with the Program Books and freebie books that we had been sent and headed off to the hotel. We had a 4 pm preconvention hotel meeting, but meanwhile checked out the spaces we would have. The spaces always look huge until you fill them with tables and people. Our biggest worry was the truck coming from Los Angeles with the art show flats and registration computers. CalTrans had decided to close I-15, the only highway from LA to Las Vegas for hillside blasting and the truck had a late start trying to avoid the backup. They didn't make the meeting, but we did have the head of Registration, the Dealer's Room Co-ordinator, and our head of the Business Meeting/Site Selection. It's always amusing to tell the hotel staff that "No, we really don't dress up in funny costumes (much), but we will be up until past midnight playing Match Game SF and filking." People started picked up their badges if they were preregistered, and I headed back to Henderson to pick up our own clothes and bits and pieces that we had left behind.

The convention started Thursday afternoon when the Art Show and Dealer's Room opened. The first discussion panels started at 2:30 pm, and it was a convention! People kept asking us how we were doing. All I could say that it was such a relief to have other people around, helping us to do everything after spending four years doing much of everything by ourselves. Luckily we knew a talented performer from Los Angeles who gave us a great Elvis impersonation during the Opening Ceremonies. We introduced our Guests of Honor; the writer Kage Baker, the artist Lubov, and the fan Milt Stevens, and the convention was officially opened. Let the con suite and room parties begin! It's impossible to keep track of everything if you are going home every evening, so even if we live a short distance from a convention, we always rent a room. We never left the hotel again until Monday morning. This used to be a Regent resort before Marriott bought it, so the rooms are simply gorgeous and huge. Everyone who stayed there was very impressed.

Friday was our first full day of programming. We had something for everyone from panels on Mars to SF Television to a concert (with fireworks) that evening. Saturday was more of the same with panels from art, education, writing, and research to Spintronics. There were also a lot of people on the Denvention (the upcoming worldcon) committee who spent a lot of time nailing down last minute details for that convention along with people soliciting memberships for conventions in Pasadena, Tempe, Montreal, San Jose, Seattle, and Reno. That evening was the Masquerade and a lot more room parties. I organized the programming, but tried not to put myself on too many panels. My two favorite panels were one on the upcoming Hugo nominations and one on social networking. A poll of members shows that most science fiction congoers are computer geeks or librarians so we usually have a lot of panels on computer science. As is often the case, I didn't have much time to attend panels, but I made sure to go to "There Ain't No Caviar on the Catering Truck" panel where two LA actors told stories about the real acting life in Hollywood, especially on shows like Heroes and Babylon V.

All of a sudden, seemingly, it was Sunday. A few last panels and Closing Ceremonies where we thanked our guests and handed over Westercon to next year's hosts; FiestaCon in Tempe, Arizona. There was a mad rush to get the art show flats back on the truck and the dealers moved out by 6 pm, when Dance Caravan started setting up their dance floors and sound equipment. We spent some time in the ConSuite, where all the left over food from other parties is gathered to hold the Dead Dog party. After four days of constant activity, I was about peopled out. So I retreated to our room and started some stitching.

Unlike Ruth, I was the anti-packer. I brought exactly one thing to stitch on because I did not think I would have much time to stitch (and I didn't). I also didn't have much time to pack, so I just took Flower Fairy which I haven't worked on since December, 2007. Pictures tomorrow. Monday morning we got up bright and early, packed, checked out, and settled the convention bill with the hotel. We were home before noon and collapsed. It's good to not have deadlines breathing down our necks. All I have to do in the next two days is gather up some reading and stitching and head out to San Francisco Wednesday afternoon. James has meetings in the Bay Area on Thursday and Friday morning we head to Maui. We need a vacation. Many thanks to the staff, volunteers and members of Westercon 61. We had a great time.