Sunday, February 18, 2018

Where stitching is therapy on Slow Stitching Sunday...

Thanks for all the kind words and thoughts regarding the passing of my brother, James. I will continue to focus on the good in his life and take comfort in that. James never met a stranger... ever... he could and would talk to anyone and he has a million friends. We are planning a celebration of his life in early March with a classic car cruise in and a Chinese buffet... he loved classic cars and  Chinese buffets... keep your fingers crossed for nice weather.

And to keep myself occupied I have done quite a bit of cross stitch... I've jumped from piece to piece but in the end I have completed the stitching on three winter-y pieces. None of them are fully finished objects -FFOs - and they may wait till next winter as I am ready to move onto Spring stitching and decorating.

First, Prairie Schooler  Winter from the Prairie Seasons No. 50...


Excuse all these wrinkly pieces... I stitched this on 16 ct. Aida that I painted with Rit dyes. I used most of the called for colors except for the house and the shutters and the front door and maybe the birds... I can't remember for sure. I always think these PS piece should stitch up fast, but they don't...lots of big blocks of solid stitching. I personalized the windows on the house as to what my new windows are going to look like.  I'm replacing the more than 25 year old aluminum windows with some triple pane krypton filled gas ones... sounds very Superman-ish doesn't it.  Should keep the house warmer and I'm looking forward to being able to wash the windows from inside... boy I'm getting old if washing windows sounds like something I'm looking forward too...LOL

Next up  is Alfred by Heart In Hand Designs...



He's stitched on a  leftover scrap of 32 ct linen that I dyed. There is a little blackbird button that gets sewn on too.  I thought he was cute and my sainted Father's middle name was Alfred. I'll finish him into a little pillow...someday...

Then I stitched up a Lizzie Kate piece, Snowy String...


This one is on the called for 28 ct. and evenweave I painted. I'm not fond of stitching on 28 ct. I don't feel I get the coverage I like. I much prefer 32 ct.  I've kitted up the Spring String and for some reason it calls for 32 ct....huh?? Well from now on I'm doing these on 32 ct. This one came out big...a little over 12" long... doesn't need to be that big for my decorating. 

I'm sure you've all heard about Lizzie Kate retiring next month... I, like millions of you, will miss her designs. I did snag a couple that I've been thinking about and 123 Stitch says they will be getting more inventory of LK, which is a good thing since the day after the announcement they were out of almost every single LK that they carried. 

Like I said, I'm tired of winter...we had snow yesterday...big fat flakes ... I do hope that is the last snow of the season. Today it is 50 and sunny so the snow has melted... we are suppose to get to 70 by mid-week but rain rain rain every day. I enjoyed the sunshine today  and went out and painted some more linen in anticipation of the new releases at the needlework trade show coming up the beginning of March. I've seen some sneak peeks of Brenda Gervais from With Thy Needle and Thread that I will want ... (you can see things here on her IG) ...and a 3 part series from Beth Seal of  Summer House Stitch Workes that I have to get ...( and you can see her stuff here) ... and I haven't seen it yet, but I expect to see the Spring ABC's piece from Little House Needleworks... another gotta have. 

So yesterday as I sat inside and watched the snow I started a new Spring-y piece... Easter Peep from WTN&T...


Is he not stinking CUTE???    I used another leftover piece of 32 ct. that I'd painted and he'll just fit... there are two giant tulips that will flank him  and some green grass beneath his feet. I call this coloring book stitching... I just did the outline and then I can come back and fill in and don't have to count anything else. I have changed just about every color on this piece. They were all DMC and I  just picked colors from my stash that I liked better.  The chick is charted in 422... a light tan... blaaahhh... My chick is much brighter 3822 and that makes me happy. It will be good stitching to do when I watch the Olympics this evening. 

And here's another piece I've played with last week... I really want to have more Christmas and Halloween stitching and if you want that you have to start now...so I did...


This is WTN&T In  Santa Claus Land done on a 32 ct linen I painted with Rit dyes (are we seeing a pattern??? LOL)  I changed his suit from GA Chili Pepper to GA Ruby Slippers. As you can see I did more of my "coloring book" style of stitching, but since this is an overdyed I stitched a random number stitch pattern to outline the big guy. Then when I go back and fill him in I will stitch a length of floss in a more blotch-y fashion. I don't like the stripe-y effect you get from going back and forth with over dyeds and that will eliminate that.  I've will work a little more on this today for #santasundayxs     I bought a couple more WTN&T Christmas charts in a Super Bowl Sale so I have plenty of work ahead of me.

I'll be linking up with Kathy's Quilts today and will enjoy looking at all the pretty projects posted there. I've got a busy week coming up...places to go...people to see...but there should be some cross stitching and maybe even some sewing time... I've been playing with a layer cake and those Moda Cake Mix foundation papers. Fun stuff!!!

Hope your week is productive and you have some fun stuff to do too!!

happy stitching-
carol fun 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Trying to get this blog back on track...



So I had no intention of being away so long... and yes I've said that exact same thing before... but it is true. I started off the year with stuff to show and then... I didn't have anything blog-worthy so I took a week off...and then another...and then I got busy with other stuff... a big family birthday celebration... getting estimates for new windows for my house, re-arranging for the umpteenth time my little upstairs craft room, etc, etc, etc...

And then things got totally off track when my brother, my only sibling, my younger brother, passed away unexpectedly. James has been battling a multitude of health issues over the last 10 years... bad back injury that left him in severe, chronic pain... diabetes... vascular issues... and leukemia. He had a stem cell transplant 7 1/2 years ago that saved his life to this point. He rarely complained about his problems other than some times he just didn't feel well...ya think??... and he was doing what he loved to do, which was work on old cars, every day. It appears he had either a heart attack or stroke which wasn't on any of our radars but is likely with his vascular issues. I knew realistically he would probably pass before me but I thought the cancer would get him in the end...not some other ailment.

Needless to say I've been quite involved with the aftermath of this event. He left a  large, eclectic estate which has to be sorted out by my niece, his only child, and I'm trying to help where I can. He collected old cars the way we collect fabric and threads and yarn and charts... we aren't sure yet just how many cars there are. He had a big pole barn building with a bunch in there...and there are cars on his house property...and cars stashed at the service station lot where he had his first job at 14 and still helped out the now 80 year old owner who was his dear friend... and every couple of days my niece gets a call on his cell phone from this guy or that guy saying "I have a car that belongs to James at  my place and there is no rush to come get it, but just wanted you to know I have it."   This is going to take a while to get things settled

So that's my tale of why I've been absent. I will return tomorrow with some cross stitch that I've played with. My focus hasn't been too sharp lately and I've jumped from project to project... some things are only stitched, not turned into fully finished pieces... and some won't be turned into  fully finished pieces till next winter rolls around. With all that has happened I'm going to move onto Spring-y projects... going to kit up a couple of things today.


So hold those you love close... I know its cliche but you never know what tomorrow will bring... I take great comfort in knowing the last time I saw my brother he was eating my homemade lasagna at my table and smiling...the last thing we did together was hug each other and say that we loved each other... now I'm going to go cry for a bit... tomorrow will be better..

carol fun

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Indoor snow... the kind I like...on Slow Stitching Sunday...

Okay... that was scary... somehow when I did a clean up on my laptop I logged myself out of my blog and it took me a while to figure out how  to get back in.  Some of my friends think I'm tech savvy...but I'm not... I know just enough to get myself into trouble... I should just stick with cross stitch and knitting and quilting... I know how to do those things.

Well the weather has warmed up...yeah... it is cloudy out there but a balmy 55 degrees...woo hoo... the snow is melting which is fine with me. Yes, I do LOVE snowmen but I prefer my snow to be artificial and inside the house rather than outside the house.  It goes back to when I started my snowman collection over 25 years ago during the period I lived in California... no snow in Modesto...and I was nostalgic for my midwest home. Now that I'm in the midwest I can do with lots less snow and cold temperatures.  I know, I know... I'm never satisfied with the weather... except for those rare days when it is sunny  and mid 70's and no humidity... perfect!!!

It was a busy busy week ... appointments and places to go and people to see every single day.  I'm sitting here on Sunday enjoying peace and quiet... I'd like more days like this... though I doubt my life is going to cooperate on that point.  I've been knitting a lot this week and stitching a little but I do have TWO finished pieces I want to show you.

First, you may remember Stu Snowman by Teresa Kogut ... I stitched him last winter finishing sometime in early February...and then I put him aside as I wasn't sure how to finish him... a pillow? a frame?  Nothing was floating my boat... now fast forward to discovering Priscilla's blog and a walk through my local Meijer's store and BAM... I got an idea...



I found an unfinished wooden sled at the end of the craft aisle... It was  about $8 but then it was on sale and I think I paid around $4.50 for it. I brought it home and painted it with some dollar a tube craft paints... hunter green and a barn red.  I mounted Stu on some sticky board and then made Basic Grey grunge covered mat to put behind him. Some leftover greenery and berries and a bow from Hobby Lobby and it was done. It looks great on the back of my front door!


Here's a bit of a side view to you can see the sled a bit better. Now I went back to see if I could get another sled as I liked this so much but couldn't find any... moral of the story is if you like it buy it!!!

And last week I showed my Little House Needleworks Winter ABC's... so I ironed it and got it finished ala Priscilla ...



All these pictures are at angle because I posted them on IG and it needs a square picture format that doesn't lend itself to these long narrow samplers. Anyway I again used a pine board I got at Lowe's ... 5.5" x 24" ... as I recall around $5. I painted it with white craft paint. I added the little wood do-dad at the bottom. Got it at Hobby Lobby in their wood department... 2 to a bag... $1.99 for the bag. I painted it and glued it to the bottom.  The mat behind this one is made from an old old old Hoffman fabric called Painted Desert... I'm thinking it is about 25 years old. I love the little silver dots on this colorway.





I didn't add any other frou- frou to this one as I think it looks good just the way it is.  I like the bits of  turquoise I added to this piece as it ties in nicely with the linen I painted.  I can't wait to see what the Spring version will look like... I'm thinking I will paint some linen for it too when I know what colors it is stitched in. 

So what to stitch, what to stitch...well today I started Winter from No. 50 Prairie Schooler... I did Autumn and mounted it in this little black metal tray...



Taking my finishing cues again from Priscilla I am going to be able to use this tray for each season...when I get them stitched. Here's my start on Winter...


Now I painted this Aida  with this piece in mind and that darker portion in the middle should be about where the path will appear. When I started stitching I then had the brilliant idea that I should have tried to paint the top blue and the bottom more green... but I didn't think if it then...perhaps the next season I'll try that.  I've already changed stuff on the house... it is definitely yellow-er and the shutters are brown not blue and the front door is an olive green which is not how it was charted. Yes, I am making it resemble my little house.   Right now I have windows on the brain as I'm getting estimates to put new windows in my house. I have no clue how old these windows are but they are aluminum and at least 25 years old. Something more energy efficient that doesn't sweat and could be cleaned from the inside will make me happy!!! 


I'll be linking up with Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching...she had challenged people to show their hoops...but I don't have a hoop... I stitch in hand. I did use a Q-snap for a piece I did over one thread... it certainly helps that process but I don't really like holding any type of frame/hoop.

No dinner plans tonight...did breakfast with my son and daughter in law...next week have a big family get-together planned...

Hope your week has some stitching time... I have plans to stitch and knit and there is that pesky cleaning project I need to get to ... sigh... something that will spoil the fun...LOL

happy stitching-
carol fun



Sunday, January 14, 2018

Anybody home??? on a Slow Stitching Sunday....

Sooooo... its been two weeks since I posted here...sorry... gonna blame in on holidays falling on a Monday that get me all discombobulated.  With the MLK holiday tomorrow that will make 3 of the last 4 weeks with a Monday holiday... even looking at my phone I'm still not sure what day it is.

Well, I was going to keep my Christmas decorations up till this week when my quilty ladies mini group is coming for our Christmas party... but I just couldn't do it.  I wanted the tree down and I wanted to look at "new" stuff so I got everything into plastic bins and took it to the basement. I haven't got it put in the storage area, but at least its not sitting in the living room.  I got out all my snowman decor and all their beady little eyes are now watching me... and I'm ok with that. I did move a few things around this year and I added several cross stitch  pieces that I "#priscillafied"...and I have plans to add more winter-y cross stitch pieces as the season progresses.


Here's what I have so far...

My bookcase display...


The Lizzie Kate sampler on the second shelf is from a couple of years ago but the other two pieces...while I stitched them years ago, are only seeing the light of day now.  On the top shelf I have a With Thy Needle and Thread piece called "Boughs of Holly" .... the date I stitched on this one is 2011. I had it framed at Joanns and it is a nice frame but I think "pricillafying" it has taken it up a notch.




And then I re-discovered another With Thy Needle and Thread piece I stitched back in 2012... and never had framed... this one is called "Snow Day"...



I went to Hobby Lobby figuring I could pick up a frame and paint it, but then I found this one in this lovely olive green with a bit of a distressed edge,  all ready to go... since picture frames are always half price at HL this one only cost $10. I used some burlap ribbon and some leftover Christmas picks to "pricillafy"it. Also, I added backstitching around the snowman in a light taupe. There just wasn't enougth contrast between the snow guy and the light green linen  and he almost disappeared...not good.


Another older piece I jazzed up was this "Snowman Row" by Bent Creek...it is hanging out in my back hall way with some of the birds I've bought from Target.



Again I used bits and bobs of stuff from Christmas....

I got out my vintage Debbie Mumm snowflake quilt... I'm not sure when I made this but was probably 10 years ago. I have an idea for a new winter quilt... a  giant snowman...but it is still just an idea.  My piecing skills on this were good, my quilting ...not so much... but it still has a nice look.



I filled my 3 tier tray with an assortment of snowmen and  wanted to add a bit of cross stitch, but I didn't like any of the winter pieces from Lizzie Kate...they all included a bit of Christmas and I wanted to put Christmas to bed.



 So I came upon this piece I stitched last winter... Star- Shaped Snowman by Teresa Kogut... and it added a nice stitch-y touch to the tray.


I have plans to add some other cross stitched snowmen pieces to the tray...just gotta stitch them!!

 I am almost finished with Little House Needleworks  "Winter ABC's"...





Yes it is a wrinkly mess but as soon as I finish this post I'm going to try to finish stitching it... I painted some 32 ct. linen with Rit Dye ...in real life it is a lovely turquoise blue which isn't showing well in the pic I just snapped, as the sun is setting and the winter light is pale.  I did change the flosses a bit. I'm using DMCs for the most part. I've substituted GA Ruby Slippers for the CC Licorice Red and I've stitched some of the red bits with DMC 3808... a deep turquoise that goes nicely with the linen and the turquoise accents in my living room. I'll be "framing" this one myself  in the  @priscillablain  style. 


Not having my son and daughter-in-law for dinner tonight...doing it tomorrow night and celebrating my son's 33 birthday... how did he get that old??? I'm sure I haven't aged 33 years...well yes I guess I have... I'll collect my social security this year... where does the time go???

I'll link up with Kathy's Quilts today... hope you all have a good week ahead. Mine is stacked and packed with stuff to do...appointments, dinners, a movie, taking my son hither thither and yon... we got snow this weekend, about 2", and they are calling for more tomorrow morning, but are predicting 40 by the end of the week... I'm looking forward to the end of the week.


happy stitching-
carol fun 


Sunday, December 31, 2017

Where I look back and think ...

hey I was pretty productive!!!   So here's a quick recap of what I did in 2017 on the crafty front... lots of projects completed and a bunch started too... biggest  fail...not as much blogging... only 71 posts including this one versus 87 posts in 2016... Instagram takes less time to post to so that has curtailed my blogging.

Anyway here's what I counted when I went back through my posts for 2017....

I knitted 9 pairs of socks and 2 single socks ... and a sock I said I was going to finish last December is still waiting for  its mate.... hang head in shame... I also knitted 3 shawls and I got all of them blocked... yeah!!

On the quilting front I completed 13 quilts of various sizes from wall quilt to bed sized...now 3 of them are waiting in my sewing room for bindings but I'm gonna call them complete as I have the binding made, it just hasn't been applied. 

My favorite quilt I completed last year has to be my Scrappy Happy Tulips using  Lori Holt's tulip pattern and  American Jane fabrics...



And  a close second would be my Grungy Gourds...



And third I'd pick my Wonky Christmas Trees...


which I just realized I never showed it finished on the blog... so there is a bit of new content here. I quilted this one myself ... something I do every couple of years to remind myself that I really don't like to machine quilt my stuff... I can do it... I just don't want to.

I made 3 wreath projects....

Spring-y Summer-y




Halloween



Christmas



All of these made me happy!!!

And  the area I was most productive in  this year was cross stitch. I've always loved cross stitch but this year saw an explosion of seasonal projects and smalls so that definitely pumped up my finishes.  By my count I completed 27 separate cross stitch  projects of various sizes. I blame all this production  on discovering Priscilla's blog and her innovative and thrifty finishing ideas ...  I  have never had that many seasonal pieces till this year and I really love including them in my 3 tier tray and decorating around the house. There will be more of this in my future.

As for favorites I would have to chose the Halloween pieces...

Lizzie Kate Tingles...



Prairie Schooler Trick or Treat...


And what I hope is the start of a whole sorority of little prim ladies...





So 2017 was a good year for crafty-ness and I hope 2018 is a good one for both you and me...Happy New Year!!


carol fun

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Yarn-y Indecision....



Hello ... hope you all had a lovely Christmas holiday... I have no clue what day of the week it is and even when I look at my phone to confirm the day and date I immediately forget it.... some how  my pea brain has decided that Christmas Day and New Year's Day are Sundays... but they aren't... they are Mondays this year... and thus I can't keep the days straight.

Well it is cold here in SW Ohio... not as cold as other spots in the US and you have my deepest sympathy if you are located in those spots. Its been running about 20  to 25 degrees below average... high temps in the teens and twenties, the low temps for the next week in single digits... brrrrr..... and I looked... I shouldn't have but I did... there are 79 days till Spring arrives... big sigh...

So I'm curled up inside watching Big Dude nap...he is such a good napper... and playing with my knitting. I have an embarrassment of riches in the area of yarn... right now I'm knitting another version of the Stormy Sky shawl... free pattern you can see here... in another colorway of Misti Alpaca...


This colorway is called Treasure...and it puts  me in the mind of an old scrap quilt... I love the bits of orange and peach and green and yellow and aqua and turquoise and you get  the point. I loved the version I did before but those colors say Fall to me while this one says Winter...this is an easy knit... but so many other things are calling my name... there are two other shawls I've started  which are languishing in ziploc bags next to my chair, that I'd like to do and several ball of yarn in the basket, on the table sending out siren sounds. I have determined that for next year... heck next several years... no probably the rest of my life time... I should first shop my stash before I buy any new yarn... I SHOULD do it... but I probably WON'T... oh well.

And the Opal Advent Calendar was gorgeous this year... as you may remember I purchased not one but two of these wonderful calendars and I am very happy I did... here are all the scrumptious little mini- skeins that are now mine mine MINE!!!



Now you can see that I have 24 pairs... while some skein don't look the same on the outside they have the same ball band and when I peek inside I can see the same colors so I'm assuming they are mates. This is great, exactly what I wanted ... 2 skeins of each colorway. However I discovered that my calendars were NOT identical in their make up... the first calendar gave me duplicates of 3 colors and the second calendar gave me duplicates of 4 colors but in the end I got 24 pairs... not sure why it worked out but glad it did.

I had decided wouldn't start knitting socks from these calendars until after Christmas so I could  see all the colors. However others jumped right in and already have knit up socks using all the yarns... like the  gal... Truddedu.... click here to see her IG...



Aren't these FABULOUS???  She's made 6 pairs of socks since December 1... here's a pic of a single pair...


and another...

and another...


and another...

She even made the brown skein look good... I think I'll copy that idea and use it on the toe so it is hidden.

Anyway she has totally inspired me , but I'm  filled with indecision as what to knit next... so many cool combinations... and then I found this on IG from Becca @fancy_a_yarn...


and this...



She is using  2 skeins at a time and alternating them every other round. I did this before and they were calling it ragrug socks then... and  it does turn out cool... decisions, decisions, decisions.... which sock and what yarn to knit firsr????  What I like about both of these combinations is that they only used the mini-skeins in the calendar, no extra yarns... very efficient.  Now both of these gals made their socks pretty matchy... that probably isn't going to happen with me...I like the craziness... in my socks...not in life...LOL

So I'm sitting here trying to decide what to knit next...and I'm continuing to knit away on my Stormy Sky shawl cause I want to wear it... it is certainly cold enough for an alpaca shawl...heck it is cold enough for an alpaca!!! And there is cross stitch calling my name too... and since I've been staring at  Big Dude a nap sounds nice too... again with the decisions... oh well, I do have lots of good activities to chose from.

Tomorrow is Sunday...OMG... I got the day of the week correct... we're doing lunch with my son and DIL instead of dinner as they are going out to a friend's house for New Year's Eve.... I'll be spending it at home with my younger son...and we will be happy happy happy to be home.  Hope you get to spend your evening just the way you want!

happy knitting -
carol fun

PS -  if you have time  check out this hashtag on IG... #opaladventcalendar....  just click here.... all kinds of pretty things people have made with the skeins from their advent calendars....



Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Merry Christmas!!!


Merry Merry Christmas from the Polka Dot Chicken!!!