Crabs brandishing watermelon slices

The biscornu saga continues. I’ve acquired some new patterns, including Barbara Ana’s “Summer Biscornu.” It features crabs waving watermelon slices around. I had doubts about buying this one — mostly because I hate seagulls. Where I’m from, we call them “rats with wings.” I’ve made pretend they aren’t “dirty birds” and that seems to be working.

Anecdote: I grew up in southern Maine, on the coast. Down the street from our house was a diner called “The Seagull Diner.” We locals used to call it “The Dirty Bird.” These days, the diner is gone. I think the whole time that place was open for business no member of my family — or I — ate anything from there. When we didn’t have a phone we used the pay phone there, though. So, a diner only useful for its phone booth in the times predating cellular service.

Anyway, the crabs are really funny, which also makes me forget about the seagulls. I’m enjoying the new lugana fabric I’ve acquired. It makes stitching so much easier because it’s very stiff.


This is “biscornu conveyor belt” number 3. The first two are filled with winter and spring biscornus and waiting to be ironed, cut and sewn together.

So far I have one spring, two winter, and almost half of a summer biscornu. My goal is to make two of each of the spring, winter, and summer ones so I can keep one of each and give the others away. I already have the autumn biscornu for my own collection so I’ll make just one of those to give away.

I bought two other biscornu patterns by Tiny Modernist: The “Butterfly Biscornu” and “Cassette Biscornu.” These will also be made as gifts for others. I already bought the thread for them so I suppose I’m as enthusiastic as usual.


SAL Update: “Pandora’s Box”

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know I’ve been traveling back and forth between Valladolid (where I live) and Madrid (yes, the capital of Spain). Thanks to high-speed rail it’s just an hour to get there and another hour to get back. However, RENFE (the name of Spain’s public train company) can’t provide me with the time and comfort required to stitch away on a 20″ frame. The passengers sitting next to me would not tolerate me smacking them in the face with it as I swung it this way and that to grab another length of thread or bury an end or two. As you might recall from my last update, I had finished a square and maybe two rows of the next square. Now, that “next square” has a few more rows added to it. That’s about it.

Photo Jul 07, 20 59 19

Another thing you might be able to deduce if you read my blog regularly is: This summer is such a huge crafting disappointment for me. I’m very thankful, though, that this summer is most definitely not a disappointment at all. In fact, it’s a wonderful summer. I just had stitchy plans. I wanted to thread crochet and cross stitch a lot more than I am doing. I am confident that the train trips will stop soon, which is wonderful. I really want to work on Pandora’s Box more. I actually miss stitching on it regularly.

The traveling has allowed me to cross stitch smaller projects and soon I’ll have some photos of my “biscornu conveyor belts.” That’s right, it’s now plural, meaning there’s more than one. It’s easy to tote a smaller frame around, thankfully!

You should definitely check out what other SAL participants are up to. A lot of them aren’t caught up in the high-speed rail dimension I was sucked into.

Still traveling back and forth

As June fades into July I continue having to visit Madrid. I know a lot of my readers think that it must be wonderful to go to such a large city in Spain, no less, the land of good food, wine, and the dream home of vacationers. Nevertheless, I invite anyone with dreams of living abroad to remember that often the grass just seems greener on the other side. The grass is very much the same color. This is not to say that I dislike Spain. I love living here and I’m very grateful for having the opportunity to make my life here. I wouldn’t change it for anything. All I’m arguing about is that no matter where we live there are inconveniences.

In the case of having to go to Madrid a bit too often: it gets expensive and right now it is way too hot there. It’s that kind of summer heat that makes you feel gross, lose your appetite, and pretty much wish you could have a bath in freezing ice water.

I always believe in looking at the bright side of things. In this case, the bright side is taking advantage of all the craft supplies available in Spain’s capital. Here in Valladolid it is often difficult to find what I need or want and often I’ve had to order from online stores. In Madrid there’s more variety.

In the case of my most recent “find,” it’s like having discovered something a second time. I’ve ordered cross stitch supplies from the online shop Todo Punto de Cruz before, mainly because they have a good selection of threads, fabrics, and supplies in general. The name of the shop translates to “Everything Cross Stitch,” which means it’s exclusively devoted to cross stitch. This, in turn, should give you the idea that yes, indeed, it’s going to have more variety of supplies.

I needed more fabric, so I decided I had a great excuse to seek out the physical shop which is the online version’s home. In particular, I’ve got bored with just using Aida cloth, which is pretty much all you can find in Valladolid, and usually in just one color. I got interested in trying out some linen and lugana fabrics, so I bought some.

In the first picture we have the fabrics that I bought: a pale green 26-count lugana, another lugana with 26 count in a dark beige color, and some naturally colored linen at 28-count. When you buy a lot of stuff, the shop owner gives you a free tote bag. It’s pretty good advertising for the store but it’s also sturdy and reusable.

If you are ever in Madrid and want to shop for cross stitch supplies, you should go here. Read the website first, though, to find out about the hours. I’m pretty sure this business mostly relies on its online customers for survival because the hours are limited and change with the seasons. It isn’t centrally located in the city but it is a must for cross stitch enthusiasts. The people who work there are very friendly and the fabrics are high quality, mostly imported from Scandinavia. The brand of fabric, I believe, is Permin. There are tons of kits on display, too, enough to keep you browsing for at least an hour.

SAL Update on Pandora’s Box

In three weeks’ time I’ve managed to get another square done as well as a little teensy bit on another square started. Life interrupted the starting of that square. It was one of those things in life where you have to stop what you’re doing and, by the time you have time to get back to what you were doing you forgot what you were doing! Anyway, I’m still having fun with this project, a blackwork design by Liz Almond that she offers for free on her site. It’s really difficult not to have fun because you can take it one square at a time. Every square is like starting a new mini project!


Please check out other SAL participants’ projects and progress:

Dragging out an old WIP

The only reason why I didn’t have to knock the dust off this project is that I kept it safe inside a bag, protected from the dirt and the elements in general.


I don’t have far to go on my first Spring biscornu. It’s my “first” because I plan to make more. This is an ongoing project on my small scrolling frame, which I have called the “biscornu conveyor belt.” The idea is to make lots of biscornus on continuous strips of fabric and that way, whenever I get around to cutting them into squares and sewing them together, I’ll have whimsical biscornus for me and people I gift them to. This one is from Barbara Ana’s series of seasonal biscornus. I’m still considering getting the summer one and having all four patterns. Anyway, sewing them and stuffing them will be a great Netflix marathon weekend. Mindless sewing, something entertaining to see on the TV. It doesn’t sound bad at all!

SAL Update: “Pandora’s Box” May 27

Well, this time around I stitched a little bit more on my “Pandora’s Box” project, emphasis on “a little bit.” A couple of weeks ago I spent an evening stitching up exactly one square, which is a picture of a butterfly with a spider dangling in the corner.

Photo May 27, 14 04 20

It isn’t exactly “done” as in done because it needs beads, which I’ll add later when I’ve completed all the cross stitching and blackwork.

As always, you might see some interesting projects if you check out what other SAL participants are up to:


SAL Update: “Pandora’s Box”

I haven’t really been working much on my “Pandora’s Box” blackwork project. Participating in the SAL, however, requires me to confess on my blog that I haven’t done much on the days I’m required to talk about it.

Confession: All I’ve done is get the border more complete in preparation for adding more blocks. That means, in total, I’ve devoted thirty minutes to the project since I last posted about it. If you’d like, you can look at the photos in my previous SAL update and imagine it with the gray border extending all the way to the right of the piece.

I’m sure other SAL participants have made more progress on their projects thanb me. Why not have a look?