Wow! It was a very busy week last week. I didn't even get a chance to do any stitching from Tuesday until Monday of this week. To begin with, we left for a whirlwind retreat to the NC Outer Banks on the 4th of July. I haven't been to the Outer Banks since I was young, and I was looking forward to seeing everything there is to see there. While we did not visit any of the lighthouses (we're saving them for another trip, ideally when the temps are in the 70's rather than the 100's), there were plenty of other things to keep us busy.
Among other things, we drove through the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in search of black bears and red wolves. Sadly, the animals we saw were dragonflies and one very nervous blacksnake. But we did see lots of scat along the road. It wasn't horse scat, so I proclaimed it to be bear scat (it probably wasn't) and decided the bears were taunting us. We did get to see watch the zookeepers feed some baby alligators and admire some adorable little turtles at the NC Acquarium:
We also attended the outdoor drama The Lost Colony. I think I might have enjoyed the play more if I hadn't been marinating in my own sweat the whole time. But check out Queen Elizabeth's costume. It's simply delicious!
We returned from the Outer Banks late on Friday evening after a quick visit to his father's home on one of the sounds. The next day, we hosted both our families at a cookout. Almost everyone came, and Alton grilled some delicious burgers, dogs, and braats. I think everyone enjoyed themselves. I know I did. But I was way too busy to take any photos! After almost everyone had left, Alton and I and my mom and dad all piled into their car and headed over to the state fairgrounds to check out the antiques show that was going on that weekend. And that's where I got into trouble. Because I spotted this little beauty and I just HAD to have her:
I know that this piece came from England, but I had two conflicting locations to start with. I've tried an internet search of her name and came up with a possible candidate for being 'my' Sussanah. If I found the right one (and really, how likely is that), she would have been 7 years old when she stitched this. I'm going to try to dig through some of mom's reference books to see if I can find any similar samplers pictured there with more definite provenance. Beyond that, I'm not sure what else I could do to learn anything more about the maker of this sampler. If any of you have any thoughts on other avenues I could pursue, please feel free to share!
In other stitchy news, I have decided to set aside Penny America until September (or until the Olympics strikes a need to stitch something patriotic) and returned to my BAP challenge piece. When last I left my giraffe sampler, I was slogging through the bottom half of the piece. Well, I decided that I was tired of all that ground and feet, I wanted something identifiable on my sampler. So I parked the thread that was in progress in the ground, and turned to the upper left corner. I've been stitching since Monday, like I said, and I'm almost down with the first page of the pattern (only bits of the border left to stitch in). I am so happy to have palm trees and most of a person now living on my sampler.
Here's where I was at the last update:
That's it for now, I suppose. We've finally gotten some rain here in the past day, and it's just started up again as I sit here typing this post. I'm glad, because it makes things cooler and we needed the water. Hope everyone is having a cool, crafty week!