Sunday, May 28, 2017

Memorial Day 2017

Here in America we  honor our service men and women who paid the ultimate price on Memorial Day.    And we honor the families of the service man or woman, I thank you for your service and your sacrifice .....that sacrifice that lets me live in the land of the free and home of the brave.

Hug a solider today!


So a quick update on me and my progress.  Buddy Cat seems to approve of my garden efforts finding a cool early morning spot where he can survey his domain from.  


For stitching, I started my pre-work for my June class at Salty Yarns.   It is a Betsy Morgan class that I am treating myself to!     Is it me or is it my OCD?  I seem to have ever minute of my life planned.   For instance, last Sunday morning I listed the things I wanted to accomplish, hoping to put my tools aways and put my feet up with a big glass of something and sit on the deck and stitch about 3 p.m.    Well, it was 9:30 and I listed the things I needed to do, assessed a time (15 minutes to do the dishes, 15 minutes to hang the laundry, etc. )   When I added it all up I had about 9 hours and 45 minutes of work.....and you know that 15 minutes job often turns into more than 15 minutes......I think writing this I have answered my own question.....it's me and my OCD!   So all that said, I am really so looking forward to the upcoming time in OCMD.



So for some down time and fun yesterday, a girlfriend and I went to hit a couple of our favorite consignment shops.    I have a secret garden project I am working on and have been scouring around for things I need.   I may reveal my endeavors at summer's end, IF, it turns out as I envision.    So we laughed and shopped and shopped and laughed some more.   Look at this awesome stitched piece I bought!   I have seen this pattern in Just Cross Stitch years ago - I think even on the cover of one issue - and always thought I'd like to stitch it.   Well for $16 this hopped into my basket. I am not a big fan of how it was framed and I may take it apart and re-do it.   (I'll add it to my someday list!)


Hopefully after the grass is cut and the sun is out I will have some yard photos to share.




Sunday, May 21, 2017

Goal Oriented

I've always known I am a goal oriented person.   I put a target out there for me to be done all my gardening, save the routine maintenance of the vegetable garden and the rouge weed here and there.   When I told myself I wanted it all done by June 1st I thought that seemed so far away.  But now it is fast approaching...but I am getting there.  In the winter I try to stitch for 30 to 60 minutes each morning with my coffee before I head to work.  These days I am outside watering seedlings and the grass seed in the bare spots and where I have over-seeded......and I am loving it.   There is something so fulfilling about everything greening up, leaves sprouting, flowers budding.  In the evenings  I am jumping right into my sweats the minute I am in the door and attacking which ever garden task is my interest that evening.   Most nights I am not even starting dinner until 8 and then I no sooner sit on the sofa after the dishes are done and fall asleep....no evening stitching going for me.   But it is a good tired; and better yet, I am seeing progress and I am looking forward to a summer of sitting on my deck and looking out at the benefits of my work these last several weeks.   Lots of plants have been thinned; lots transplants; beds neatened up; and best, local landscaper came and did about 90% of my mulching.  Just need to clean around my pond and around the pool deck and I will be done...... so the reason for this prologue is to explain why there is so little stitching progress to share.

The end of the sixth red leaf is where I estimate I should be by May 22nd.....it is about 1/3 of the row.

I'm not going to make it.  I am not disappointed with myself.  I can see when I look back at my last post how far I have actually made it.    I am enjoying this section, plotting out the black outline and then filling in the red in the long arm cross.    I thought I was quite generous when I created the schedule for completion.   Apparently I didn't factor in gardening......I have June and July to finish this row and maybe I can make up for lost time. I looked ahead and the next section will definitely not take the two months allotted so I am thinking that could be catch up time.

I have a class in June at Salty Yarns in OCMD and I am taking Corsica River along to stitch on when I am there.   I bet I can make good progress from those porch rockers.   I am looking forward to 4 days of nothing but fellow stitchers, salt air, good meals at some of my favorite places and a Betsy Morgan class!  Corsica River is getting sidelined after tonight until I get my pre-work done!

I am also teaching a Christmas in July class for EGA and have been ordering supplies.....I have almost everything I need except for the back ordered items that are promised soon.   I can't give it away just yet but I can say that there are two possible versions and I want to stitch one of each before the class.   I will plan to devote an upcoming weekend making up my 25 kits and pre-stitching a couple of samples.

My take along project is also moving slow.  If progress could happen just by the number of weeks I carry this to work every day and don't touch it, I would have been done months ago.   Just like that weight loss idea I had when the kiddos were young and I was ferrying them everywhere and I thought there should be a way to loss weight while driving the car....I never did figure that trick out!

One of my guilds, DVHSG, is having a Lauren Sauer class in September that I would like to take......but not if this is not stitched.   So there is my goal for this piece.   Should I be so bold as to say finished as well by September!  Let's not get carried away.

It's all good.   To everything there is a season and for me, this is the season of the yard......

Thanks for stopping by.......keep on stitching.  

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Hello.....it's me

go ahead and have that Ally McBeal moment and hear Adele in your head......

Where have I been and what have I been doing?  Oh my.....nothing much really but endlessly busy just the same.   I mean, it seems I have a calendar of dinners, outings, events and things to do and.....and I seem to cross one task off my list only to have it quickly add another.......and this is just at home...... as for work..... hmmmm, I think I am accelerating that retirement date.   Funny, some friends that are retired are bored and have returned to the work force......me, I think I will be of the variety of my friends that says I don't know how I had time to work......seriously counting the months until I hit SS retirement age unless something drastic happens at work.......I just don't want to do it anymore.   I gave my boss a three year notice that I now think I will hack a year off! At this point I don't even think throwing $$$$$ at me will work.  I'm tired......stick a fork in me.....I'm done.  I really need to work on an attitude adjustment for the next 15 months.

On a much more cheerful note, I spent a long weekend at my grandson's first birthday.  So much fun to spend the time with family.  A girlfriend went with me to save me from the long ride alone.  We laughed the whole ride out and all weekend long.  I can't believe William is one year old already.    He is walking up a storm and mom and day have their hands full.  I did miss my annual spring retreat in OCMD and was disappointed to not being able to go but slobbery baby kisses made me forget OCMD real quick.
Will was not interested at first in stopping for his cupcake so mom had to  sit him on her lap.
He was changed his mind real quick.....
He didn't want to stop eating long enough to be put in his booster  seat.

As a reward for a long hard season at work, I rewarded myself with signing up for a class in OCMD in June.   It is Betsy Morgan's Virgin Queen.   This will be my third class with Betsy.   This design is so delicate and pretty.  I've got a bit of pre-stitching to do before the June class.  I'm a little foolish since I haven't finished either piece from my last two Betsy classes!


My tools of choice these days.
Really not much stitching going on......been doing yard work which is my first love....chronologically.   I fell in love with yard work before I ever knew about needle and thread.  I've cleared yet even more ivy.  I am relocating my fire pit and putting down stone around it.  I cleared even more ground cover from the property line beds.  I'd say I am about 90% done the front and sides.   Would be all the way done but Mr. Snake and I had a stare off in the flower bed and I kind of backed off that section......better finish up this weekend.....mulch being deliveried Monday or Tuesday.  All the work now will pay off with many hours spent sitting on the deck stitching and enjoying the view.

The back property bed is my summer project this year.  The soil is not the best; it lies in the blazing sun; it has been the dumping ground for all plants and bulbs I thinned from other beds.   For many a year  I would just toss them in the undergrowth alone the line of trees to grow, or not.  Now that I have reclaimed more of the area and planted grass I need to properly plant it.  I hope to spend a couple of summer evenings each week messing about with and refining this area.    I want to get some sun tolerant milkweed varieties for color and to attract monarch butterflies.  Sounds like a simple enough plan.....famous last words.

Before, uncovered all winter
and with a liner faded to white.
Ready, but still too chilly for me.
We also had a new liner and filter upgrade for the pool.  I am not going to dwell on Mr. W. not being willing to go salt water.......I am thrilled he opted to make the repairs we needed rather than taking the pool down....which was my initial fear.  The kiddos said now that he has a grandson to swim in it, he'd definitely leave it up.....they were right.

So to stitching.....I am putzing along with Corsica River.  I came to the realization that I didn't stop stitching the first row because I grew tired of the blackwork; I stopped because of the enormity of the scroll frame.  It is not the easiest thing to manage.   I removed the fabric from the scroll frame and mounted it to q-snaps.   I like the idea of keeping it on the scroll frame to keep the fabric clean but the 36-plus inches of width is the pits.  For the stitching, I am liking the Assisi work using the outline first method.   Makes is easy to add the long arm cross mindlessly.


I am putzing along with Mon Ami.  I feel confident I will be able to definitely stitch and finish to qualify for my WIP challenge.  Good progress is being made on the third of the four panels.

Just not enough time to stitch, and weed, and tend, and plant, and read, and work.......hence the reason for my lamenting above about retiring.

Keep on stitchings.....thanks for stopping by.

More birthday pictures for viewing.....or not...

Serious out to dinner face the night before



Fun eating berries
















Playing with the 'corn popper'...one of the presents from Gramma.
Little man loves his daddy.











Point a cell phone or camera and he is not shy.





oxoxoxo

Saturday, April 22, 2017

It's that time again

Springtime and yard work.   I made some great progress on weeding flower beds and prepping my vegetable garden but there is so much more to do.   Our weather continues to see-saw between unseasonably warm, rain and then cold or to use the words of the weatherman, raw.   I feel like I am ahead of schedule as far as the gardens are concerned but could easily fall behind schedule if the weather does not cooperate!  So wonderful to see everything greening up.

Because I have been spending time in the yard and the gardens, stitching does suffer.  Alas, today is check in day for my FB SAL and I have failed to reach the bar.   No worries, I am not stressing it.   I am close and of course, I got tired of stitching the blackwork row and jumped ahead to the Assisi work.

I have four more of what I refer to as the 'fuchsia' flowers to complete.   The schedule was quite lenient and there is no reason that I didn't finished except that I lost interest in the first row.

 I have also put in a lot of stitches in my Mon Ami pattern.   I can actually see a finish in my future on this piece......which has languished in my workbasket for several years.   This is how far I was when I picked this back up in January.  I really look forward to completing the stitching and then finished this.  I will need to get some silk dupioni for the lining.


Next on my list, I plan to attack Uncle Sam and finish him up.......maybe by the 4th of July and maybe not.....I remind myself this is my enjoyment and not my stressor!

Thanks for stopping by and happy stitching one and all.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Bit of a mess

I seemed to have had a run of a week to ten days with not much stitching.  Once I did get stitching again, I didn't pick up my stitching on Corsica River......like I should have.

Instead I put needle and thread to linen on my mon ami piece.   I know borders are necessary and often pretty but....I felt like I was not seeing any progress so I jumped to the motifs.   Each motif is so quick and so doable in a little bit of time.

It is nice to see progress.    I am hopeful this will be stitched and finished this year after many years in that WIP basket.


Oh I am out of order in so many ways......I signed up for, canceled and then signed up again for a Betsy Morgan class.   Oh the mess I am.   The piece is just too pretty, was my first thought.   My second thought was why sign up for yet another class to have yet another small or worse, yet another unfinished class piece.   Then, I waivered back to signing back up because I knew once I saw everyone else's project I would be sorry.   So there you have it.....I am a true waffler!

The pre-stitch was easy.....except when I was stitching along all gung-ho on the initials and I started to stitch an "m".....because that is what was charted and the initials of the designer.   Duh.    Amok, I run amok as random.  Class day was yesterday after my regular guild meeting.  The class consisted of a review of the kit contents, twisted cord making,  tassel making and the joining stitch Betsy prefers.   All instructions were reviewed and may tips and hints given.   We got to see a lot of Betsy's exclusive designs.  This morning  I finished the scissors fob complete with tassel made using Betsy's method.   I rewrapped the tassel because I thought my job yesterday was messy.


This is the rest of the kit.  A companion piece to the scissors fob.




Now back to my classwork. I layered my fob per instructions, first ironing on the interfacing, then inserting the skirtex and last pressing and tacking the mitered corners.

I need to work on my tension.   I do like the finishing stitch she used.   It is easy and very sturdy.   It doesn't take long to get into a rhythm.  I have spent years trying to make teeny tiny stitches that don't show but really do so I am all about just embracing the joining stitch that is this uniform.




I am going to hold fast to not start the class piece.....it will be hard.....I have made a bargain with myself to not dare start until I have either finished the assigned Corsica River section or finish my Uncle Sam.  Really, I should make it both.   Getting my hands on Betsy's Virgin Queen will be my reward for the completions.  But I could get distract by making tassels.   They are fun, fast and easy.  

The weather has finally turned nice and a bit of yard work is calling me.  Slow and steady wins the race.  Thanks for stopping by and had a great week in stitches!