The workbag:

I told you a few weeks ago that I was working on Hinzeit’s “12 Days of Christmas” and that it was slow going because I can’t see very well.  So, going on the sage advice of my friend Tawny, the owner of my favorite cross stitch shop in the world (Where Victoria’s Angels Stitch, in Clifton, NJ), I went out and bought some very strange-looking magnifying glasses.  They clip onto my own glasses and make everything large enough that I can (finally!!!) see to stitch.

When I first posted that I was working on this project, I’d gotten very little done but, thanks to these magnifying glasses, I am positively cruising along:

12 Days of...

Since I took this picture (sorry for the quality — I’m still figuring out how to use  my brand-spanking-new Droid), I’ve added the C and part of the H in Christmas, so I’m at least 1/3 of the way done on the project.  Next I’ll take advantage of the magnifiers and get some work done on Thea Gouverneur’s New York kit.  Here’s what I’ve managed so far — just a little bit of the Empire State Building.  The fabric is 35-count linen, so the magnifiers will really come in handy. I could hardly see anything when I stitched this, and it took me a lot longer than it should have:

Empire State Building

It’s a very complicated piece, with a lot of colors and a lot of detail, but I just love it.  You can click on the pictures to make them bigger and, hopefully, see more detail.

The bookbag:

This week we have 2 impulse purchases: Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen, and On the Wealth of Nations (Books That Changed the World) by P.J. O’Rourke.

Janzen’s book is a memoir about moving back in with her devout Mennonite parents after her life fell apart.  It’s gotten decent reviews and I figured it would be nice to laugh along (and commiserate) with someone else who’s middle-aged and living with their parents due (at least in part) to circumstances beyond their control.

P.J. O’Rourke is one of the funniest men alive, and I am ashamed to admit that I had not heard of this book.  I’ve read pretty much every other book he’s written (Parliament of Whores is a masterpiece) and simply had to have this one.  I read Wealth of Nations in college, and can hardly wait to see what PJ makes of this very important work.