Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Snow Day

and I took advantage of the time off.   Heaven knows there are things I should have been doing but........

So my picture walk today is not is snow......We have been fortunate not to get the 40 to 50 mph winds that were predicted.

 The trees look so pretty and I love get over the 'silence' of a snowy day.    This dogwood will be in full bloom in a quick 6 weeks.   Hard to believe under all this snow.

Just think, in about 6 weeks we will be sitting around the pool.....not swimming in six weeks, but enjoying the warm spring time breezes for sure.

 My red TWIG dogwood that I previously identified as a red stitch dogwood.   Guess stitching was on my mind.

I cleaned and did laundry and put up my spring decorations instead.   And I snuck in a couple of half hours here and there to work on Corsica River.   Yes, I know.   I vowed to work on Corsica River on Sundays and work on Quaker Halloween Monday to Friday.   Well I don't seem to be too good at sticking to that plan.   I was on a roll with putting in the blackwork that I just wanted to keep going with it.  A couple or four more lengths of NPI and I will be ready to go back to filling in with the long-armed cross.

 How appropriate to have carrots made from bobbins.  Great craft fair find.

 I'm ready to retire and replace this tree.   Saw a great pencil tree at Christmas time but hesitated telling myself there was nothing wrong with the one I is a $29 tree and looks like a $29 tree (in person) and several branches on broken.

This Easter Egg tree used to be my mom's!  It have to be 35 years old.  The ceramic chocolate egg as $1 at a consignment store.

Nothing to do now but wait for the snow plow to come through my neighborhood and off to work in the morning.

Thanks for stopping by and keep on stitching.

Saturday, March 10, 2018


While I have been on this binge/purge march right down the yellow line parade route of mine I came across so many UFO's.   I decided I really need to make an effort to make some progress on them.    One January several years ago I started that whole stitch-a-different-project every day for 15 days and then rotate through each one to work towards completion.  I found that I just ended up with a ba-zillion starts and slow finishes so I kind hit a road block.

Currently I have my own strange rotation. I have my floor stand project and my lap project which is also my lunch time/stitching group project. I have been happy with that amount of diversion.    But I am about to add to this route to map out another direction. Who know how long it will last or if I will be successful.  It's a journey remember.

I really, really, REALLY need to work on Corsica River.   It is just so large and so overwhelming that I steer clear of it too.   I have decided to make this my Sunday project.  Any stitching done on Sunday's will be on Corsica River.   Pat and Anne gave me good hints today for helping me see my progress.   Pat likes to take photos and look back at how far she has come.  Anne suggested placing a pin at where I am when I am at the start of the month and then look back so see how far I have come.    Both good ideas to help me measure my progress and give myself some encouragement.  Slow and steady I will get there.

I pulled this Chester County Sampler out of the basket of shame.   It has sat in the darkness of the closet for several years.   This is going to be my Saturday project.  I sidelined this because it has so many Algerian eyes.   Duh, it's a sampler so of course there is a sampling of Elizabeth Pusey's speciality stitches and not just cross stitch but all those Algerian eyes is why I parked it.   One letter at a time is how I will measure progress here.  The cool thing about this one is that I have seen the original at the Chester County Historical Society.  I really want to cross this off my list.

I have just a wee bit of progress on Quaker Halloween.    This is going to be my Monday to Friday pre-work project.  I am almost done two of the six pages of the pattern.   And of course, I have seen the new Quaker Christmas from Lila's Studio.   I would be rash to promise being able steer clear of purchasing it.

Now for a take-a-long project........not sure what that is going to be but I have a thought.    I have been searching for this project for a couple of years.  (yes, years!) I remembered purchasing it at a quilt show but when I went looking for it I couldn't find it.  Every visit to the quilt show, I wouldn't buy it because I knew I had it.  Imagine my surprise when putting away fat quarters recently and there it was.  All my in and out of my storage boxes of fat quarters and I never saw it in any of the boxes makes no sense.   I don't know what logic had me put it away there but it must have made sense at the time.  This should be an easy take-a-long piece.    My recent taste of surface embroidery might be driving this project.  I've also got to stitch up an exchange piece for the Prim Stitchers Retreat in June.......another take-a-long possibility.

At least that is my plan for navigating my world of stitching for telling where my thoughts will steer me tomorrow.

Oh and one more thing.....

I started and finished up this basket tag in two days this week.  The basket was a thank you gift from the shop owner of Stitch by Stitch, Cape May, NJ at retreat this past fall.   The teacher that weekend was Cathy Haberman of Hands On Design.   Cathy gifted us with the complete kit for stitching and finishing the basket tie-on.    I might take it to work for my desk......except that I have removed almost all my personal items from my desk when I started my retirement countdown.

Thanks for stopping by and keep on stitching!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Loose ends

Still in that tidying up state of mind.   Five more xerox boxes of 'stuff' out to the shed.   Four bags of clothes ready for a consignment shop.  Two bags of stitching supplies ready for another consignment shop!   And there is more to go.....don't know what has gotten into me but it feels good.

Along the same lines,  I have finished up a couple of things in my UFO basket.   See, when sorting your craft supplies, you get hit smack in the face with the embarrassment of how many things are lanquishing in the to be finished basket.    

I completed this SamSarah design several years ago.   I had ironed on the interfacing after I attached the buttons not knowing any better which made it look very rumpled.   I deconstructed it and there it sat.   Having learned more about finishing since then I  reassembled it only to not know where I put the embellishment buttons for 'safe' keeping.   I added a couple of blue seed beads for his eyes and moving this to the completed pile.

Several of us bought these little tool trays from Salty Yarns a few years back.   I had the brilliant idea to add designs that would be removable for each season.   Others have done theirs but not I.    I decided to stitch up another start-to-finish-in-under-a-year project from Lizzie Kate this week.  I think it is called Hippity Hop.   I modified it to fit the tool caddy by eliminating a motif.

What did we do before having these clips?
They are always in my project bag just in case.

Not exactly thrilled with the thickness of the finish.  I used thin foam core but no worries, I am expecting an order of Comic Board from Amazon that I can use on my next finish.  But as we say, from the top of the bridge, it looks fine.

Lastly I finished up this EGA petite project.   It  is nice to get a small little project and technique at our meetings.   But as I was sorting and purging I came across about a dozen of similar projects left incomplete.

 Again, not a perfect finish but if you go up on that bridge for a view, it is just fine.   I have enough cord left to add as a hanger but I may leave it off and just place this on an easel at Valentine's Day.

We had our second Nor'easter in a week with a third one in the forecast for early next week.  It was great to have a snow day and for the first time ever, I didn't shovel a flake of snow.  Mr. Wonderful did it all and I only felt slightly guilty about it.

 We were getting snow at the rate of a couple of inches an hour.   And now, the sun is shining!

 Thankfully the sun warmed enough to let the snow fall off the branches before breaking them.

 I love the look of my new red stitch dogwood agains the snow.

No sitting here!

 Thanks for stopping by and keep on stitching!

Monday, February 26, 2018

My favorite household chore

Right up there with hanging out my laundry is washing windows.   I know, crazy huh?  but I love washing windows....except car windows!   It has been unseasonable warm for us so I got started  washing windows this past weekend.   I didn't get all the way through the house but I made a good sized dent.  One more warm weekend and I'll be done!    I've also been on a major tear to clean closets and drawers and just generally eliminate all that ephemeral that accumulates!  I've been keeping three rules - Do I really use it? Keep it.  Have no need for it, don't use it? Donate it; and really this is a hot mess/trash it.   It feels almost as good as washing windows.   Not only do I know where everything is, everything is neat and orderly and I feel like my house it lighter!  It really isn't OCD just my need to have everything where it belongs because I hate to waste time looking for things!

Saturday, I tackled under the kitchen sink, the pegboard in the kitchen that holds 'stuff', the Hoosier Cabinet, a dry sink and the pie safe.  Boy does it feel good.   Some things got trashed and unfortunately the rest is sitting on my dining room table waiting for me to either donate it or send it to the consignment store.   Progress albeit small.     I even spent a rainy Saturday evening weeding through my patterns.  (wow, big ole time and hopping weekend lifestyle I have!)  For my patterns, I used the same realistic approach, regardless of whether I liked the pattern or not.....was I ever going to stitch it.   I just need to hold that same mantra when I am at Salty Yarns again......liking it doesn't mean it has to jump in my bag!

As for stitching, I have taken nary one stitch in Corsica River.   I just have to be in mood for the bohemoth of a project and I have not been anywhere need that mood.    Instead I have been working on a couple of small, instant gratification projects.   Truth is,  I just haven't seemed to have had the time to stitch.   It is not a loss of mojo thing.   When I finally sit down at night and grab my stitching, I am asleep before one stitch gets completed.

I read two books recently.   The Boy Who Said No which is about a boy growing up in pre and post Castro Cuba.  I also read The Book that Matters Most - get out the tissues on this one.  I am already halfway through my 2018 Goodreads goal!

As for stitching, this is what I did get accomplished in the last several weeks.  First up, from With Thy Needle and Thread's Acorn Harvest.

This was a limited edition stitch.
Only one per customer.   Somehow I cajoled 3 others to place the order for me so I could get 4.   One for me and three for gifts.   I finally got mine kit last weekend and it stitched up and was finished in 3 days.

 EZ-PZ to stitch and EZ-PZ to put together

I've also been working on a Lizzie Kate's Hip Hop spring pattern.   What are we going to do when there is no more Lizzie Kate?   Their patterns are fun and easy and just make you feel good.    This kit doesn't disappoint.  Cute fabrics and embellishments.  So because I am needing more the reward of finishing something and tired of being tied to the monster of a project, I have made this little bit of a project as the one that goes in my tote bag to work with me.  15 to 20 minutes of stitching at lunchtime on something this small should yield me a finish in no time.

I have managed a wee bit on Halloween Quaker.    When I stitch before work, this is what I work on. Bit by bit I'll get there.

Any forward progress is good progress.    Hopefully more progress in the coming weeks.   Maybe I will even get the desire to pick up Corsica River again.   At the current rate, I have accepted it is very doubtful I will catch up on time to finish by next February.  Unfortunately that is not enough of a challenge throw down to get me to pick it up and prove myself wrong.  

Thanks for stopping by.  Keep on stitching!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Lack of progress

So little free time to stitch.   That darned think called work is getting in the way again.   Sometimes it is just how it goes.   And then there is being a klutz.  I did a dumb thing.    I reached into my stitching bag Thursday night as I was on my way out the door to my EGA meeting and hit the LoRan metal board just right and got myself a nice gash on tip of my index finger.   Think paper cut but more, much more.   Of course it is my left hand.  Went to the doctor Friday to get a tetanus shot and Doc wondered why I waited a day to come it.  Umm because Thursday night I was on my way to my monthly EGA meeting.   Duh! Stitching of the medical kind was going to have to wait.  My girlfriends and stitching come first.

At EGA last month we received a small surface embroidered heart to stitch.   This month we had a lesson in lacing that piece onto mat board.   It is nice to get these little projects that teach us something new and can be completed so quickly. And I have even more admiration for the likes of Mary Corbit and surface embroidery.  With my boo-boo finger, I didn't' get too far on the assembly portion.   Dag Nabbit! Frustrating for sure.

On a better note, I think I finally have the right magnification for stitching.   I was at a friend's and I commented that I had been struggling to focus, changing glasses, adding clips-ons,  and still couldn't seem to find the right cheaters.   I was thinking I needed to go to the eye doctor.   She passed me her 4.0's and I put them on, looked at my stitching and think I heard angles sing.   Came home, logged on to Amazon and ordered a four-pack that very night.

Before my mishap,  I did manage a  teeny tiny bit of stitching on Halloween Quaker done.  I am still enjoying this piece.  Funny how it is all relative.   There was a time when I would have thought this was a big piece.  Compared to Corsica River, everything else is small.  My cut finger doesn't account totally for nary a stitch on Corsica River these past two  weeks.....not the way to go if I want to catch up.   Oh well.....

Now I have a thought provoking question for you.    Are you a process stitcher or a product stitcher?   Do you enjoy the process of stitching a piece or do you like completing a piece and having a finished product?  And my question to myself is.......what am I going to do all weekend when I can't stitch.   I hope not get into other trouble.  First thing may be to wrap the edges of my LoRan board with painters tape.

Thanks for stopping by and keep on stitching!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

In 500 words or less....

Well isn't that funny.....I have never been one for just a few words....but here's to trying.

Got another motif done on the Quaker Halloween by Lila's Studio.  

Getting there, one motif at a time......

Spent a nice day of stitching with some friends and was able to put a dent, albeit a small one, in Corsica River.
 Don't mind all the trailing threads.

And I treated myself to a wooden spool cabinet.    I saw this in a local antique shop when I was Christmas shopping.  I toyed with the idea back and forth of buying/not buying.   Finally the first week of January I thought if it is still there, it is mine.   I placed the call and a "sold" sign with my name was put on it until I could get there to pick it up.

It has six drawers, with the top four divided.   I don't know if it is really a spool cabinet, but that is what I am plan to use it for.

 It is about 2 inches wider then the JP Coats drawers so it may not stay where I placed it.  
 Thanks for stopping by and keep on stitching.