Sunday, May 21, 2017

A Slow Sunday with my feet up... cause I was real busy Saturday...

I'm taking it easy today... my left foot still hurts on and off... I suspect maybe a stress fracture... will need to get it looked at...ugh...but for today I'm sitting here with my feet up, eating some Famous Amos cookies  and stitching.

Now yesterday one thing let to another and I rediscovered this little gem...


I have no clue who's design this is or if it has a name... I have one very crumpled piece of paper that shows the chart and says Square 22 and the date I printed it out... July of 2010... so it has been maturing for a while. I know I dyed that aida... it is 18 count...  and I think I've matched whatever floss I was using. I found this in the bottom of my BIG box of floss.  And pawing through the BIG box of floss convinced me to organize the floss the way I did my linen and charts... that took a couple of hours but I know it was time well spent. Now I'll be able to find the right floss as easily as I can find my charts and linen.


Here's a pic of the BIG box of floss... it is one of those storage boxes from IKEA that fits their furniture.




a look inside...



on the top is a separate box with all my hand dyed flosses...



the hand dyed flosses are in little floss bags filed alphabetically for each of the 3 lines I have... Gentle Arts, Crescent Colors, Weeks..

and underneath this box is the rest of the floss...



all the DMC and Anchor are in ziploc bags... all the 200's in one bag, 300's in another, 400's... you get the idea... they are organized this way...


I put 4 bags on a metal ring so they stay somewhat in order  so there is less time spent looking for the right bag.  This is soooooo much better than the mess I had... which lead me to discovering that cute little bird...

I think I'll finish him like this piece done by Priscilla Blain on her blog... which you can see here.


She mounted it on  sticky needlework board and then mounted it to another piece of sticky needlework board that she covered with fabric. A  quick, simple finish that you can tuck into a lot of different decorating places.

And seeing this finish and this wreath that Priscilla did...


got me thinking how I could make something similar... and I did... Ta dah!!!



I started with the piece by With Thy Needle and Thread called Bluebird Out My Window and an inexpensive grapevine wreath I found at Wallyworld. I like how Priscilla uses a lot of burlap ribbon and I found that bow on sale at Hobby Lobby... I added the silk rose which I made at least 25 years ago from French wired ribbon... it is good to be a pack rat with some organizational skills as I had in this my stash with other ribbons. I really like the look of the silk with the burlap... and I always have fake ivy hanging around... I use it a lot in my little vignettes and 3 tier tray.

Now I'm not positive how Priscilla put her wreath together but this is what I did.   After mounting the cross stitched piece on the sticky board, I cut another piece a bit larger and covered it with fabric ...and then I punched 2 holes in the back piece that I threaded a twist tie through and attached it to the wreath that way so it would hang down a bit...




I used some orange tape double sized tape that is very very sticky to put everything together.


This is hanging on the inside of my front door and I can see it from my stitching chair... I'm really happy with this finish and I'm going to play with some other piece of cross stitch I have to do another wreath for my back hallway.

I'll link this up with Kathy's Quilts today and Super Mom - No Cape tomorrow... its a quiet Sunday for me...my son and DIL are available for dinner ... so Nick and I will do something easy...hope you are having a nice slow Sunday too!!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, May 19, 2017

A knitting post where I ramble ...

Happy Friday... I've actually had 2 days this week where I haven't spent $500 ... that is great!  The AC unit came for my son's room so quick it almost made my head spin (oh that wouldn't be good...LOL) I ordered it on Tuesday afternoon around 4pm and it was on my front porch Wednesday before noon... great service from Home Depot... it was suppose to be 2 day delivery so I was amazed when the UPS showed up.  My son was very grateful as his room temperature had to be pushing 90 degrees...now he's cool and happy and that makes me happy!

So I think most of you have seen that Judy L of Patchwork Times isn't doing her linkups anymore including the Friday one about "what's on your needles?"... sorry to see it go as it motivated me to show some knitting progress on Friday... but I'm going to try to self- motivate...and we'll see where that goes.

Today I'm doing well in the self-motivation arena and I have some stuff to share... and yes some of it requires your imagination and trust ...but I know you can do it.

However, first we will start out with a finished project...



these are shortie socks done with my Blue Moon Socks that Rock skein of Rare Gems... very bright. Since it is summer-y here in southwest Ohio it is too warm for full socks... I thought these would be nice to wear with sneakers.  I got the idea for these from socks I saw on Ravelry... and my pea brain thought the pattern was called Bay City Rollers.... but my pea brain had gotten stuck in the 70's... do you remember who the Bay City Rollers were?  They were "the tartan teen sensations from Edinburgh Scotland"...ROFL... here's a link to their Wikipedia  page... and since the name Bay City Rollers stuck in my brain I got an earworm of their big hit "Saturday Night" ... and because I am every so slightly crazy (my own diagnosis) I will give you a link to this classic teeny bopper hit... listen to this at your own risk...LOL ...

Anyway  that isn't the pattern I was looking for ... it is called Rose City Rollers and here in the link to the free pattern. Now I just used it as a jumping off point for this pair... I ended up doing a ribbed cuff and did my  favorite eye of Partridge heel... but for my next pair I'm doing the rolled cuff which takes waaaay less time than a ribbed one... here is my start ...


the yarn is a well aged Blue Moon from my stash and I think it was called Watermelon Tourmaline... nice mindless knitting.

But other projects have caught my eye too... to begin this convoluted tale, I saw this free pattern called Debut...

 you can find it here. Now it calls for DK weight yarn but my stash is woefully thin in that category but then I saw this yarn at Joanns...


it is Australian Merino and very very soft... a DK/Light worsted weight, 142 yards... they had about 12- 15 colors and it was priced at.... wait for it... $14.99 a ball ...YIKES!!! Now this is really nice quality but I didn't want to pay that much... and I didn't... I had an email coupon and a text message coupon each for 50% off... now you're talking. The shawl takes 3 or 4 colors so I'll go back and get some more when I get more coupons... there was a nice plum... and a chocolate brown...and a grey...and an aqua... among several other choices.

Sooooo.... I was going to cast this on and went searching for my size 6 needles... and I have a couple of pairs of size 6's but the were ALL occupied with other projects ...shoved into ziploc bags with assorted cryptic notes I had left myself...  and of the bunch these projects, this seems closest to the finish line and I really like the happy colors of this yarn...




The pattern is called One and Done by Casapinka and you can see it here.  As the title says all you need is one skein of yarn... this yarn is from Kaleidoscope Dyeworks from Canada... a small indie dyer who I see is taking a break right now.  This colorway is called Gilligan's Island... great a new earworm song...LOL

Anyway I have 2 more repeats of the pattern and then I drop the stitches and do the edging. I knit this one back in October...but it still is in its unblocked blob form... its on my list of things to do... a list I'm ignoring at the moment.

So I have lots of things to knit ... and the weather forecast says there will be plenty of knitting time... more rain in the next week...ugghhhh.... my flowers have barely dried out ...and some got drowned and I had to yank them out of the pots and trash them...not a good start to summer.

Well I hope the weather is nice where you are...
happy knitting-
carol fun


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Tuesday...the sun came out, I survived and I didn't think about the car repair...

So a new day dawns... and I'm channeling my inner Annie, Gloria Gaynor and Scarlett O'Hara... and things were looking up. I found the marigolds I wanted... in fact I found all the marigolds I wanted both big and small and they were on sale... hot diggity dog!!!  So even though it got way past 80 degrees I decided to go outside and work in the garden... I got the big marigolds planted...





10 of them... 5 yellow and 5 orange... 5 is a number I like.... it is my lucky number... well maybe it is and maybe it isn't ... more on that in a minute.


And these two flats of marigolds will get planted around my rose bushes... they did great last year and I have high hopes for them this year.




And my pyramid of petunias is off to a grand start... including the petunias planted around the base of the rose tree I have 14 different varieties.



I LOVE LOVE LOVE petunias!!!

I also planted a half dozen lantanas and 2 perennials and I see I have a couple of spaces for more flowers... I shall definitely walk around a garden center or two later this week. I do have a gift card to a local nursery that was a Mother's Day gift... its burning a hole in my pocket...LOL


So I was outside... all hot and sweaty and muddy but happy ...and then my son came out... he needed to talk to me... okay, what's up?  His AC isn't working...he's checked the circuit breakers, turned it on and off, googled the problem and nothing is happening and there is a puddle of water around the base...drat!!!  Now he really needs this AC... it is a portable one to supplement the anemic AC he gets from the rest of the house... and he's the kinda person who always likes things cold... which his room is not when the temp outside is pushing 90... so today I won't  think about the car repair because today we need to buy a new AC unit... which is..... remember my lucky number 5... $550... bingo we have a winner... 2 days in a row ... 2 big ticket items.... I give up... the harder I try to save money the more  of it leaves my wallet... my new strategy will be to be a big spender....ROFL... ain't gonna happen. But somehow I'm not as upset about this as I was the car repair... perhaps I'm getting immune to big ticket expenses... oh that can't be good.

Well, I'm going to drown my sorrows in some premium ice cream and be grateful I can pay for this stuff... I didn't touch my sewing machine today but maybe tomorrow ....and I found this pattern this afternoon and I think I'll be downloading it tonight...



The pattern is called Delightful and it is by Natalia Bonner... here is a link to her website.  I'm thinking of doing it in shades of yellow... with a brown-y orange center.... OMG... it will be GIANT marigold!!!  Well that should keep my mind off of my money woes...

Oh before I forget ...and I just about did... I know a lot of you like me are disappointed that Judy of the Patchwork Times isn't doing Design Wall Monday anymore... but Jan of the Colorful Fabriholic told me about 3 other sites who do a design wall feature on Monday.

Em's Scrapbag    http://emsscrapbag.blogspot.com/
Love Laugh Quilt http://lovelaughquilt.blogspot.com/
Cooking Up Quilts http://www.cookingupquilts.com/



Thank you for all who commiserated with me... I appreciate it... and I'm fine... I always tell my son that no matter how bad things seem in the moment they are usually easier to deal with in a day or two... I need to take my own advice.

happy stitching -
carol fun

It was a Monday in every sense of the word....

By the time you read this post it will probably be Tuesday but oh it was a Monday in every sense of the word. It started with such promise... sunny and dry...and I didn't have a thing that I HAD to do... there was stuff I wanted to do and I did get to some of them but it took a while to get there. Now I was going to start with my whine about Monday but I've decided to put it at the end of this post... lets start out the way the day started out...on  a good note.

So I finished my Lunch Box quilt from the new book Charm School... you can see the book here. I used a mature layer cake from Momo called Just Wing it!  I think that lime green Grunge was an inspired choice on my part... it really makes this quilt...IMHO



Here's my favorite block... love that little bee in the upper right quadrant. 


I spotted some lime green fabric in my stash that should make a great back for this. It is just a throw size about 64" x 64".

And then to make myself feel better today (I'll explain at the end of this post) I finished sewing all the hourglass units for my Arcade quilt. The top 4 rows are sewn together and the bottom 4 rows await me tomorrow... I hope..,


Now this quilt pattern can be found in the Winter 2016 edition of Quilts and More Magazine ... the fabric is the Basic Grey line called Saturday Morning and I wish my pictures were better as these colors are so much more vibrant... bright orange, deep forest green, periwinkle, mint green, navy...and the prints are quite an eclectic mix...rather bohemian.

Here are a couple of blocks I've sewn together and you can see the prints more clearly...florals, text, dots, dashes, diamonds, little people..





There were several Grunge prints in this line and I'm using them for the cornerstones. I have the border fabric for this quilt and I ordered fabric for the back today from Fabric Shack...and enough to make some coordinating pillow cases. I think it will look great in my bedroom.  

I really needed some sewing therapy today ... now I'm going to whine for a while so you can skip this if you want... I understand. My lovely Monday went south by noon. I got in my car and the red check oil light came on... insert four letter words. Now I just got my car back from a week and half stay at the dealership that cost a pretty penny. A major repair was done and it had a 90,000 mile check up even though I haven't quite gotten to 90,000.  When I got it back on Friday I thought I was set for a while...not a mere 48 hours. I took it back to the dealership... the service tech thought it might just be a sensor, as they had put a new one in as part of the major repair and perhaps they got a bad one. Now since the major repair took waaay longer than they anticipated they have been treating me with  kid gloves and he immediately offered be another brand new loaner car. I took it as I didn't feel like spending my afternoon in their waiting room. I thought it would be a hundred dollar repair and they'd have it fixed by tomorrow.... I was WRONG... it is going to cost another $550 and it won't be ready till next week as they have to wait for the part..aarrgghhh... so far in the past 3 weeks this car has cost me $2500... I have the savings to fix it but spending money like this is NOT satisfying... and  up till today I thought I'd hang onto this car for a while. Its a Subaru, I was hoping to drive it to 150,000 miles...now I'm not sure if I should hang onto it or not.  Additionally,  I did something to my left foot about a week ago... and the pain comes and it goes... and today it came  with some sciatica pain and stayed...ugh... and I thought I'd drown my sorrows in my garden... I want to plant some marigolds... so I hit the garden shops and somehow no one had nice marigolds. I went to 3 places and still can't find what I want... these fat pompom marigolds...


And this morning I read that Judy at Patchwork Times has decided to do away with her Design Wall Monday linkup and several other linkups she has hosted. She is still blogging but it is more focused on her life in Texas. Hers was one of the first blogs I found years ago and it makes me a bit sad that this feature is being eliminated. I'm hoping that someone else may pick up the torch and host a Design Wall Monday. I thought perhaps I could do it but I've never done a linkup... don't know if it is hard to manage or not... perhaps I can look into it. I don't want to step on any one's toes but it is fun to see what others are up to and I like that it didn't have to be a finished quilt...just what you were working on at the moment. Now I know these are all first world problems and I'll get over these issues but for Monday I wallowed and whined.

As Scarlet said... tomorrow is another day... and Annie said... the sun will come out tomorrow... and as Gloria Gaynor sang... I will survive!

happy stitching-
carol fun 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

There is sun for my Slow Sunday Stitching.... yeah!!!

There is a big yellow ball in the sky and there is sunshine outside my window and that makes me happy happy happy!  Hopefully my pots and window boxes are drying out a bit and steeling themselves for the frost advisory that is out for tonight. I'm going to bring in the pots on my pyramid of petunias and  move the stuff on the porch into the corner of the porch where they should be more protected. I'm banking on the window boxes being attached to the house and  most of them 6 feet off the ground to be okay... keeping my fingers crossed and saying a prayer.

And I'm taking a little time today to stitch on my BBD Garden Borders... it is coming along very nicely!


I've got the windows and the door framed so there will be some mindless stitching while I watch my PBS shows tonight... Call the Midwife and Home Fires... I made a couple of color changes to the section with the bits of borders... they were all graphed in  GA Garden  Gate like the first one and it was too much gray for me. And I changed out the GA Grecian Gold to the GA Terra Cotta in the stars as there was little to no contrast with the GA Caramel Corn that I had. You can click on the pic and make it bigger to look closer... I'm still not totally satisfied .. they  still look a bit mushy to me... and as I type this I think I'll wait till I get the door on the house and maybe switch the Terra Cotta to Country Redwood... oh the "joy" of hand dyed floss... I love the look but hate the "surprise" factor... makes me appreciate DMC.

I've gotten a lot done this week as there have been baseball games... GOOD baseball games... my beloved Cincinnati Reds have had several stellar outings... games where they scored 12 runs...unheard of... LOL!!! Wish they could bank them and save them for other games... like the many they lost last year by one run...oh well...that's life and that's baseball...

And I finally got my Easter decor put away and switched the bunnies for birds... lots of birds... I LOVE birds. I re-did my 3 tiered tray and parts of it I really like, and other parts leave me mmmehh... but I got tired of futzing with it and this is how it stands...




Now for the parts I love... those hydrangeas... they are a wonderful coral red orange... and  they look great up against the tulip quilt!   And I am happy with the little Prairie Schooler Worm... isn't he adorable???  (Yeah I'm nuts... in real life I keep my distance from worms)

I scored this wonderful frame marked down at Michaels last week...


I'm going to look at my stash and see what other small pieces I  could stitch for this frame... I'm thinking I have some bird and birdhouse charts that would be cute too.

So this afternoon's baseball game starts momentarily... dinner is in the crock pot and the Dude is snoozing by the front door...



all it right in my world... and hope it is in yours too!

I'll link up with Kathy's Quilts today and Super Mom - No Cape on Monday.

happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, May 5, 2017

Really, this is all I got to show...

It has been over a month since I linked up with Patchwork Times Friday feature On the Needles and this is all I have to show for my time... really... it is...


one solitary scrappy sock and the tiniest bit of a mate cast on... sad sad sad... I haven't been knitting as much lately (playing more with my cross stitch in the evenings) but even so I should have more to show... but I don't... because my routine lately has been cast on, knit, frog, repeat... over and and over and over and over. I think I've stated at least another 4 or 5 socks and each has been a bust... wrong colors... too small... changed my mind... got bored... or any of a million other excuses.  This one is a lot of Opal skeins... except I don't think that purple at the cuff is an Opal color... I'm not sure what that was.. I hope it turns up again in the next sock but I'm not sure as I have a bunch of little nameless balls of scrap yarn ...oh well.

I'd like to blame my lethargic behavior on the weather... and I will... too many gray rainy days... like today... which is wet, gray, cold and miserable.... what happened to those 80 degree days of April??? I was so proud of myself for getting so much potted up ... and we know pride goeth before a fall... and when I was hurrying to pot things up I was feeling smug that Mother Nature would water stuff  for me... oh and has she watered... now I'm afraid everything is drowning!!!  I've emptied the saucers out of every pot  I can on numerous occasions... I'm afraid that the roots are turning to mush... but it is too soon to know... they need a chance to dry out and then we'll see.

And then I heard on the radio today we could get some frost Sunday night....NOOOOOOOOOOO.... I have no one to blame but me if this happens as it has been drilled into me since I was a child helping my Grandma to plant that you shouldn't put anything in the ground till Mother's Day... but I was seduced by those 80 degree April days... big sigh.  I can haul the stuff I have in pots into the garage and the stuff in the window boxes on the house should be okay as they are close to the house and high off the ground. I checked a couple of other weather forecasts and they didn't have a frost warning in them so I'm hoping the radio station is being an alarmist.


And since I don't have much of anything to show knitting wise and my rants about the weather are getting depressing I will tell you about a great play I saw this week... Beautiful, The Carole King Musical...



OMG if you have a chance to see this one do it!!!  When I opened the  Playbill and looked at the musical numbers I knew it was going to be special... I knew all the words to every song listed...and if you are of a certain age (and we won't be specific here but if the 60's and 70's were your youth you know who I mean) this is the soundtrack of that time. I knew that Carole King and Gerry Goffin wrote a lot of songs but I had no clue how many hits they had... unbelievable.

I saw this show at the Aronoff in Cincinnati and the cast was wonderful. Lots of great voices... you will leave the theater happy happy happy!!!

Here's hoping mine and your weekend will be less soggy and more sunny...

happy knitting-
carol fun

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Slow Sunday Stitching...something finished and something started

Hello ... well another week whizzed by me but as I sit here on Sunday I do have something to show for my time... which feels good.  I hope that everyone has survived the wicked storms yesterday and the night before. We had torrential downpours here in southwest Ohio and the loudest longest thunder I've ever heard... kinda frightening. Glad it is over. And on Wednesday of last week I tried to do myself in with a marathon planting session. I planted over 100 petunias and several flats of assorted filler items... geraniums,  salvia, dusty miller, nicotania, snapdragons... and then on Friday night they were pummelled into pulp by the rain. The  wind was vicious too and about midnight I realized my beautiful rose tree was probably toast. I ran out in my pajamas and it was sprawled on the driveway with its lovely Queen of Hearts petunias tossed about. I uprighted it, tucked it into my back entryway and plopped the petunias back into the pot... still looks bedraggled today but it is alive. A couple of days of sunshine would help but the forecast still has a lot of rain in it ... Mother Nature is not to be messed with...

So lets move on to more upbeat stuff... I FINISHED my Little House Needleworks "Needlework ABC's"... here's the arty picture... this was hard to get into one frame...



and here is another look...


a little blurry...sorry... but here are individual pics which show my changes..

First I made the buttons more "mother of pearl" ...

then I made the house yellow... 

and the bee threading the needle got a yellow thread...


and that meant the spool of thread had to be yellow, and of course the lady is sporting a yellow dress with auburn locks... love her....LOL...love me!!!


This measures about 2.5" wide and 19" long... I'm envisioning a white wood frame and I'm hoping to hang it right by my front door. From start to finish it took me a little over a month, but there was at least one week where I didn't touch it at all.  I was worried that I might run out of thread with this piece as I purchased it as a kit. My first worry was the white but I had plenty of it, What I did just have enough of was the brown that is used for all of the letters and assorted accents. At about the letter M I got panicky that I would run out of the brown so I went ahead and stitched all of the letters. At that point I had one piece of floss left, about 6" in length... I change the hair color of the lovely lady and when I stitched her shoes there was NOTHING left...not a single ply.  Now that is cutting it close. I don't know if perhaps I lost some of the thread or it just took that much but glad I made it work.

And because I finished something that gave me permission (like I need it...LOL) to start something new...and this is what I chose...




Blackbird Designs Garden Borders, the 12th part of the Abecedarian series. And here is how far I've gotten in two evenings... moving right along...



I love all those green threads... CC Camouflage and Avocado and GA Dried Thyme. I'm stitching this on the called for linen... 30 count R & R Korty's Blend.

As for the Abcedarian series I have stitched 4 of the 12 and I'm not sure if I will ever do all of them. Something new BBD always seems to call my name. I've got a small start on last years  Garden Club series and this year's offering of Loose Feathers  have captured my heart too... lots of birds... I LOVE birds.. sigh... so many pretties I want to stitch. 

Perhaps there will be a little stitching time today... right now I'm off to a birthday lunch for my youngest son... how did he get to be 27??? I'm not any older...  but  I'm  certainly delusional ... 

I'm linking up with Kathy Quilts today and Super Mom - No Cape tomorrow... have a lovely Sunday and I hope you stay dry!!

happy stitching-
carol fun