Sunday, January 22, 2023

Mundane and semi-motivating on a Slow Sunday...

Hello -  well this post is rather mundane but also semi-motivating...at least to me...I'll admit that the last  two weeks blew past me... and while I made no formal New Years' resolutions... I never do... I did resolve to try to try to get a few things accomplished...and I was only slightly successful in my endeavors. The weather here has been all over the place... too many gray rainy days but a couple of lovely sunny ones with temperatures hitting 60!! It has been so warm that my daffodils are already popped up about 5"...


 Currently we have a return to a more proper seasonal pattern in the 30-40 degree range with snow flurries here and there and unfortunately more cloudy days... ugh... it seems like we are having waaaay more cloudy days than usual...and it isn't just rainy days and Mondays that get me down... its gray cloudy ones...soooooooo...

I'm attempting to keep myself busy with crafty stuff. Do you keep track of what you are working on?  I know a lot of the  crosstitchers use the Needlework Press Book of Days to record their progress. I used one a couple of years ago but I also use a paper calendar for the rest of what I'm doing and didn't like having 2 separate calendars... so now I have one calendar with space for everything....


each day I like to record what we ate and what I worked on along with things like appointments.  I know the eating part seems weird but my son often asks "what did we do for lunch/dinner the other day?" and I can then look it up... as the older I get the more I realize I don't always remember what I did yesterday... or the day before... without some notes. 

Also it is fun to decorate the pages of my calendar with stickers. As a child of the 50's I fondly remember getting papers back in school with cute stickers on them.  The nuns had to lick each one back then... no self- adhesive stuff... and along with gold stars there were seasonal stickers that made me happy. I'm using stickers from the Antiquarian Sticker Book Series like this edition...

I'll admit some of the stickers are creepy but lots have that vintage vibe I love! So I'm indulging myself in another childhood and giving myself lots of stickers!

As for what I've done... I'm ahead of my schedule for The 12 Days of Christmas by Prairie Schooler... I have 3 blocks completed and the outline for a couple more stitched... 



It is  satisfying to finish each block and easy stitching...comfort work. 

Then I got ambushed by a chart on IG from Calico Confectionery called the Lotsa Love Sampler...

... go check out her Etsy shop... lots of cute stuff and PDF downloads...instant gratification!! 

Now I told myself I wouldn't start this unless I had a piece of linen in my stash ready to go... I knew I wanted to stitch it on a turquoise background... and as luck would have it this scrap was the perfect size!


The designer charted this sampler so you can do pieces individually. I love the font on this one and rearranged it to be horizontal rather than vertical.  I used the DMC Color Variations floss 4210... they are similar to a hand dyed floss but less expensive ... and yes the variation isn't random but I don't think that shows up when you are stitching with it. I've picked up several colorways at Joanns and online at 123Stitch. 

I'm considering this piece to be a seasonal small... it took me about 3 evenings of work to complete...not bad... not certain how I'll finish it... have a couple of ideas. 

As for sewing, I got the Bright Ornaments quilt top done...


thought about adding borders but that would make it too big for the living room wall space. I used a layer cake of Basic Grey Peppermint Bark and the background in Grunge in the color Ale. Need to get a back together and I can take it to be quilted.

Started working on an new quilt for my son... the pattern is Cinnamon Twist.. not sure where I first saw this but tracked it down to FatQuarterShop....

It said it was a" free "pattern... but there is fine print... it is "free" when you purchase a Cinnamon & Cream Jolly Bar... so it's not entirely "free"... Nick really liked the pattern, so I  put the fabric in my stash... 

Nick picked out the fabrics for this quilt... he likes the blues and greens but nothing too frou frou... lots of geometric patterns... 


I think it looks very handsome!

I didn't knit much on the shawl but I am working on two pairs of socks... one one pair that is just a skein of Opal  and another that is a scrappy pair with leftover bits of Opal... mindless knitting...

Plain...


Scrappy...

Dan the handyman was finally able to finish up the back door project... it took longer than I thought it would, but then every home project takes longer than I think... 

Painting the raised panels of the door cream and the other part brown makes it match the garage door and the shutters on my house.. it also took waaaaaay longer to do and Dan painted both sides of the door this way so it looks great!  You see this door when you enter the breezeway next to the garage... it goes into the garage... the back door is just to the left of this door... but I think it makes a great impression.  I have several of those "Welcome" boards in different  seasonal designs... I saw a cute one online at my local garden store... it has snowmen... need to pop in and buy one. 

Hoping to finish out this month quietly... nothing on my calendar... dental work got pushed into February... my knees have been hurting on and off but I checked and I just got a shot of cortisone in my left one the end of October... and it has been my experience that you have to wait 5 months before they'll give you another, so, it appears I'm reaching the end of this treatment... I do know they hurt more when the weather gets crappy... my sainted Grandma was right... you can feel it in your bones!

Well as I review what I've written it appears that nothing is totally finished... everything is in flux... but that's okay... recording what I've been up to  is semi-motivating for me and countless times I refer back to this blog to figure out  what I was doing with one project or another.  Just yesterday I was looking at some quilt blocks  in my sewing studio that I started last year... and while I did remember the pattern name, I didn't remember how many blocks I planned on doing. So I searched it using that little box in  the upper left hand corner of the blog and refreshed my memory... I have 15 blocks done but need 25...glad I don't have to figure it out again!


I'll link up with Kathy's Quilts today... should be a quiet one till around 3pm when the Cincinnati Bengals play the Buffalo Bills... lots of excitement in the city as we aren't use to having winning sports teams...LOL... we won't speak of my beleaguered Cincinnati Reds... I love them whether they win or lose, but it is a whole lot easier to love them when they are winning... 

Hope you have some creative time in your part of the world in the next  2 weeks... I'm plugging away at projects and already looking forward to Spring... 

happy stitching-

carol fun 




Sunday, January 8, 2023

New Year but same old me on a Slow Sunday...

Hello - well we are into 2023 and things are pretty much the same around here. We did have a spell of wonderful weather... temps in the 60s, positively Spring-y... so  nice... perhaps Mother Nature's apology for trying to freeze us to death two weeks prior?   But now we are back to "normal"... the temperature isn't so bad but waaaaay too many gray days... I NEED to see the sun!!!

And that will conclude my weather rant for today... 

I started out the New Year following a tradition I've had for years... I spent the day doing stuff I want to do all year... so I crossstitched, I sewed some quilt blocks, I knitted, I did some online shopping and I went out to eat... it was a positively perfect day I'd like to repeat 364 more times!!

As for what I've been doing... well I got all the Christmas stuff put away and it took a while as I did some major purging. I was motivated to clean out several closets too as I had some minor house damage from that "bomb cyclone". Took a giant load to donate and helped my son sort out at lot of his stuff... turns out he's a bit of an accidental hoarder. We discovered 5 pairs of brand new sneakers and 4 pairs of brand new slippers...now this was totally unintentional as he had put the items in a closet and forgotten he had them. He won't need any new footwear for a while. And the cleaning out and reorganizing lead to donations at the local library and more space in the house... good things!

I've been working on this shawl ... the pattern is Be Simple Variation... free here on Ravelry.  The yarn is Uneek Fingering from Urth  Yarns... I love this yarn and have bought it in several colorways... and if I knew which colorway this is I'd tell you but I lost the ball band .... sheesh...  The changing colors keep me motivated to keep knitting... don't know if you can see it, but I'm  looking forward to getting to that purple swath...

I got the Prairie Schooler 12 Days of Christmas started... 

I outlined stitched several blocks and then got to work on this one... all it needs is legs and some leaves... then I'm going to drop down and do the block underneath. Since I stitch in hand I like to work from the right to the left so I'm only holding the unstitched parts.

I want to do one to two blocks a month so it can be framed in November.... I think that's  very doable... but we shall see, won't we?

I've also been stitching seasonal smalls and got some finished yesterday...these two are both from the Prairie Schooler No. 134...

I added them to two other Prairie Schooler snowmen had already stitched...

and now I have a "melt" of snowmen!  Did you know that is the collective name for a group of snowmen?  I just learned this the other day... but luckily these guys won't ever melt!

I have a love/hate relationship with this linen... it is 32 ct opalescent that I dyed... love the sparkly snowy look but it is hard to stitch on... my needle catches on those sparkly bits as they are a plastic thread... but it is worth the effort overall...

My Prairie Schooler kick continued,  and I did this snowman too... I forget which leaflet he came from... I think one that had  Santas  and snowmen...

And I did  these pieces from the With Thy Needle and Thread book The Snow Ball...


Gluing on that pompom trim wasn't fun... I thought it would look like little snowballs... but it kept getting wobbly... so I'm not totally happy with the finish but it is done for now... 

This little display is tucked into the telephone niche in the hallway... it is original to the house and I love it!!  My contractor want to tear it out and drywall the spot... glad I didn't let him do it. This is right between the bathroom and my bedroom so I go by it numerous times a day. All the cute snowman knickknacks were a gift from a dear friend... the designer is Johanna Parker... I love the pastel colors and vintage vibe!

I was able to sew the Bright Ornament blocks into rows last Tuesday when Elliott was here... my thanks go out to Legos and Paw Patrol for keeping him occupied...LOL.. I'll take another picture when it is all together... might get that done today...

My biggest accomplishment, other than the tossing of stuff and re-organzing, was I got out all my snowman decor... and as you know there are a LOT of snowmen!!

Here's the porch... I didn't purposely try to make it primarily monochromatic, but I like it!


I'm thinking this display could use a small crossstitched  piece tucked in on those lower shelves....hmmmm...

And I like the Momo quilts out there...



And I have Momo in my bedroom too..

I do LOVE LOVE LOVE Momo, but the older stuff... with the 70's vibe. Her last couple of collections have been too pastel for my taste. Glad I have a nice stash of her fabrics in the colorways and prints I like.

So plans for the rest of the month include stitching another block on the 12 Days of Christmas,  getting that ornament quilt off to Delinda to be quilted and starting a new quilt... and it isn't one that was on my list of quilts I wanted to sew this year, but it's an old idea that has returned and it demand attention...NOW!!  

I've got a bit more purging to do and have a dental appointment for some bridge work, my finance guy is coming by for  a semi-annual review, lunch plans with the girls,  and my oldest son's 38 birthday (how did he get so old?? Actually the correct question is how did I get so old??)

 Also hoping to wrap up a  house issues...

Have had Dan the handyman here several days fixing some stuff up and putting in a new door from my breezeway to the garage. The door that is there is just a wood slab, and I suspect is it original to the house which makes it 70 years old. It has been swelling and warping and it is so hard to get open I'm afraid that I won't be able to close it...yikes... so Dan and I went to Home Depot and bought a new metal insulated door...  he hung it and  has to come back tomorrow to finish up the framing and put in the lock ... it still needs to be painted... but the weather needs to be warmer for that... 

And if you stuck with me through that ramble, reward yourself with some chocolate!

So I'll link up with Kathy's Quilts  today and spend some time seeing what others are up to... I've got plenty to keep me busy but always looking to see what is new and different to play with!

happy stitching-

carol fun 

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Looking ahead on a Slow Sunday Stitching...

 Hello!  Well Christmas is past and the New Year is here.... and I'm happy for that... as we are all inclined to do, I've been rewinding in my head different events of 2022 and I'm glad a lot of them are over...specifically pesky "getting older" health issues.  I'm still dealing with a couple that are going to come with me in the New Year, but I'm shifting my focus to things I want to do in 2023... Got lots of crafty projects I want to get to and have some vacation plans in the works..  that makes me happy!

A quick aside here that I'm very happy that "bomb cyclone" event of last week is past for my little spot of the US.  Those below zero temps and even lower wind chills  did not makes my vintage little house happy... I'm glad I got a new furnace in 2022 ... it got a workout. And now Mother Nature seems to have gotten that little tantrum out of her system...going to be upper 50's today... and long range forecast seems good too.  I'll table my weather whining for a bit... LOL

I've been keeping track of my quilt and cross stitch  finishes... I've completed 10 quilt projects... and one was a table runner and two were baby quilts... so not much productivity there. My latest completions are this quilt...

the pattern is French Vanilla from the Sew Emma book Perfect Ten Quilts . The fabric is the Cheer and Merriment collection from Fancy That Designs.  I bought a fat quarter pack of this line and purchased yardage of a couple of prints for background for the bed size quilt and this throw...

the pattern here is Dorothy Quilt...and from that fat quarter pack I have just bits and pieces left. An efficient use of fabric!! I really like this pattern and will be doing this again... maybe with a scrappy low volume background. 

And here's a pic of the panto I used on both quilt... it is called Poinsettia and Delinda from The T Shirt Quilt Company did the quilting... the back of the quilt looks like a whole cloth quilt ... so pretty!!


My plans for 2023 include the Bright Ornaments pattern for the living room wall. I've gotten some blocks completed...

The fabric is Peppermint Bark by Basic Grey and a Grunge background... the think the color is Ale. 

I have the kit for the Tilda Embroidery Flower quilt and I want that for the living room wall too. 


Now I'm not normally a "solids" gal... in fact there are no solids in my stash... just tone on tones. I love the needlepoint/crossstitch look of this quilt.  I bought this as a kit as there are 45 different fabrics. I'm scaling down the size of the squares from 2" cut to 1 3/4" inches so it fits the space. 

I promised Nick a new quilt for his bed. He's picked out the fabrics and  I think we've decided on a pattern. And I have another throw sized Christmas quilt pattern and fabric  I want to do. 

There's a bed size Halloween quilt cut and ready to go waiting downstairs and a Momo quilt left over from last January... that's going to be my core list. I'm sure some squirrels will come along but those are going to be my focus.  I'm going to write these projects down and pin the list to my design wall to try and keep me on track... we'll see if that works or not since I'm more inclined to bounce around like a BB in a box car ( my sainted Father's description of me... and he was right...LOL). 


As for crossstitching... I finished 47 projects. Now  99%  were smalls that are seasonal decor and I intend to continue that trend.   As for large finishes I had,  Feliz Navidad by Blackbird Designs....

and Christmas Joy by BarbaraAna Designs... 


I'd like to do several large sampler projects in 2023 to hang on my walls... and to kick that off I'm starting The Twelve Days of Christmas from Prairie Schooler..


I found this linen already dyed in my stash... and I can just squeeze this design on it... I changed out the called for white... too stark... went with 3730.. more muted. Can't wait to get some stitches in this today!

I also want to do the Noel Sampler from With Thy Needle & Thread...

My goal is to have a couple of Christmas samplers to display next to the living room wall quilt, for the season in 2023.

I'd also like to have some traditional samplers... I have 2 sitting here by my chair that are started and I'm going to work on them... excuse the wrinkles... 

Red Bird Sampler from With Thy Needle & Thread....hmmm... I thought I had more done on this one...


And Fragments of Time 2022 by Summer House Stitch Workes...

Oh I forgot how much I've completed on this one.... Oh Joyous Day! from Blackbird... maybe it should move to the front of the line...


And I've gotten the all the  flosses together for  Sunnyside  by The Drawn Thread....

And this one is talking to me too... Dutch Alphabet by Sheepish Design... I'd like to stitch it with one of those variegated DMCs... green?  blue?  ohhh... maybe shades of gold....still need to think about this ... was thinking I could challenge myself to stitch one letter and crown a day... 

As for seasonal smalls, I'd like to have a dough bowl full of Christmas pieces... lots of Santas for sure... I just stumbled upon this pattern last week...


I'm going to do the Santas individually and  mix in some small Prairie Schooler Santas too... and some of those pieces that just say things like Merry or Bright or Noel ... 

So I'm never going to run out of things I want to do!!  And I'm so happy about that!!

I want to take a minute and thank all of you lovely people who read these ramblings ... as the years have rolled on this spot is more and more my personal craft diary... I post a lot more over on Instagram  (carolfun53) because it is quicker for me ... but when I'm trying to recall what some pattern was called or how I arranged a display I come back here to find it.. so each platform has its pros and cons... like everything in life...

Hope you are spending this New Year's Day doing the things you want to do all year long... I'm going to stitch a little, sew a quilt block or two together and knit a bit... and we're going out to get a bite to eat because cooking is NOT something I want to do all year...LOL

Notice I have not made any New Year's resolutions... of course I want to eat healthier and get more exercise and lose weight.. and I will TRY to TRY and do those things... no promises... as I get older and really know how short life is, it is very hard to pass up a crusty piece of bread or a plate of pasta or a nice dessert... those are things that make life lovely! And no good story every started with... "we had a nice green salad"...

I'm also making no promises about my craft spending... I truly do NOT need anything. I have oodles of fabric, charts, flosses, linen, yarn and doodads... I will  TRY to TRY to watch what I purchase...  

I'll link up with Kathy's Quilts... I really  appreciate her hosting a linkup every Sunday... it provides me with motivation to get things done and recorded. 

Happy New Year and Happy Stitching!


carol fun 

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Merry Christmas overload on a Slow Stitching Sunday...

Hello all!  Well I'm back to overload you with pictures of Christmas decor... I've had everything decorated since the beginning of the month... which is a good thing as I haven't felt 100% since then... I could post a righteous rant... but I won't... you don't need to hear me whine... suffice to say getting old sucks big time.... 

I will admit this post is primarily  so I will remember what I did this year... some displays are  similar to years past and I'm okay with that. I have a lot of stuff and limited space. It is impossible for me to be a minimalist, but I did pare back here and there.  I know you laughed at that line... hope you didn't spit your beverage on your computer...I only decorated  on the first floor.  I have a bunch of decor I didn't put out and  I think a trip to donate stuff is in the offing.  I purchased very few new things this year... a couple of trees  and a little sleigh from Target ... 2 more Santa mugs which is probably the limit... you'll see what I mean. 

As for crossstitch I have 2 new finishes... both samplers...and the realization that there isn't space in the displays for anymore large pieces... so gonna try to stick to smalls... EXCEPT for the Prairie Schooler and With Thy Needle & Thread Christmas samplers I want to stitch.  I plan to put them on the wall in the living room for the Christmas season.   I'll go into more detail in my end of year post for my 2023 stitching plans.

And NOW let's get to the pictures.. 

First up the porch... this space is only 70 sq ft and it is fun to do it in a pink/minty/aqua palette with a bit of a mid century vibe... and lots of Lizzie Kate...


Lizzie Kate Christmas ABCs...

Vintage needlepoint angel... stitched her over 30 years ago..


Barbara Ana  Designs Christmas Joy... my latest finish... which has taken me over a year to complete... but it's done now...  I changed the colors on this ...  ditched the black for turquoise... 



Lizzie Kate Tiny Tidings XXI...



On the wall Lizzie Kate Jingles...


Corner with cute tree in KFC retro bucket...



Olive the other reindeer keeping watch over everything...


Living room... Santa's keeping an eye on you...


 Christmas tree and large shelf display...


Starting at the top... Bent Creek Quaker Noel and needlepoint Nativity scene stitched in 1984... R to L  Feliz Navidad by Blackbird Designs, The Christmas Bird by With Thy Needle & Thread, and Merry Christmas by BBD. 


 Feliz Navidad was my other finish for this year.. love the frame on this and happy they framed it really close... other wise it wouldn't fit in the display... oh no!!


The Christmas Bird by WTN&T and Merry Christmas by BBD...


Oh Christmas Tree by All through the Night... and Prairie Schooler small which I can't remember the name of ...


Love the vintage looking wreath... from Hobby Lobby I think...and some putz houses... the yellow angel is a snippet from WTN&T Peppermint and Holly... the other gal is from Pineberry Lane, a Sprig of Holly...


ALL the Santa mugs... and I do think I may have reached the end of this collection...

Here's the right side that got cut off... a couple more Santa's and WTN&T Santa Claus Land... hmmm... maybe if I stack a more I could squeeze another couple in... never say never...LOL


The smaller shelf display...

On the top reproductions of vintage stuff.... that tree and the TV and the Santa... Elliott LOVES that little TV... the trains go round and round and it plays Christmas carols which he insists you sing to him...


 Still love this Christmas piece ... J'Arrive by Tournicoton... and the little lady is from Pineberry Lane... don't remember the name but do remember I didn't stitch the Santa hat she was wearing...

 

In the middle ... a cookie jar I found last year in my neighbor's trash... I spied a basket that I wanted and then found the cookie jar underneath it...


A Santa from Pineberry Lane and  Little Bits of Christmas from The Drawn Thread...


In the kitchen a display of gingerbread men...


And in the hallway the kind of deer I like...inanimate... not the  flower eating, mulch messing up critters...


Whew... that's a lot of pictures... it is a good thing I have a small house... 

So tomorrow I hope to get the presents wrapped ... and I have a pillow case/gift bag to make for Elliott ... and if I'm really ambitious a Christmas quilt that needs binding AND coordinating pillow cases   AND another Christmas quilt top to finish... I have no illusions it will be quilted in time but I'll have a jump on next year, right?

I hope you are having a lovely Christmas season... we are doing an open house at my older son's home with appetizers on Christmas Day...low key... I like it... and I'm already looking ahead to 2023... got plans for stitching and unfortunately already have several doctor/dentist appointments and procedures to start the year out...ugh... gonna try and put them out of my mind for a while. 

So for today... happy stitching and Merry Christmas!!


carol fun