Sunday, November 27, 2022

Let me talk your ear off on a Slow Sunday...

 

Hello - well I kinda wandered off, didn't I? I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving.  Perhaps someone brought you a LARGE pumpkin pie... LOL

 I've been busy, but don't have a lot of finished stuff to show for my time... going through an extended period of "just can't focus"... My sainted Father use to say "you bounce around like a BB in a box car" ... and that describes EXACTLY the situation I find myself in... now I attribute a lot of it to some health issues which seem to take turns  driving me nuts... I'm not going to bore you with details... but I could... I'll just leave it at, getting old sucks and this seems to be the year I'm really feeling it... but you didn't come to hear me dither on about my aches and pains... 

So let me talk your ear off about other things... this is a long post... so maybe get a nice beverage and let me ramble on about stuff...like my decorating for November..

I know lots of people go straight from Halloween to Christmas decor, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE doing Thanksgiving stuff... I think turkeys are cute... the Fall version of chickens!   And I have a nice collection of Thanksgiving themed knickknacks and cross stitch... here goes!

Small  shelf display...

Up tops lots of Jim Shore pieces...the tall piece was a gift from my son so it holds a special place in my heart... and the Fall Alphabet from Lizzie Kate...



here's my latest FFO'd piece... the cornucopia is a snippet from Prairie Schooler No. 146 Autumn Samplers...nothing like Prairie Schooler for comfort stitching...

Below I have more Lizzie Kate, the Quaker Pumpkin from The Stitcherhood and The Flower Pot Sampler which is From the Heart Needleart. 

I did a couple of tier tray displays... this has one turkey from Stone Street Stitchworks and another from Heart in Hand.

The second tier tray has a plethora of yellow pumpkins and two little pieces from Pineberry Lane.

The large display shelf unit...


 it has Blackbird Design's Feast of Friendship and my newest acquisition from Hobby Lobby, that coppery turkey... who is simultaneously large and skinny... LOL ... the little turkey was  a freebie but I forgot from whom... and the little pillow is BBD Waiting for Harvest... where I changed the colors and make it symmetrical... which made me happy!  Below a little PS turkey, and Turkey Hill Farm from Ewe & Eye and Friends, November from Prairie Schooler and Ever So Grateful from Threadwork Primitives. 

The shelf below has  Fall Most of All from Calico Confectionery and a little pin pillow from Pineberry Lane and Bittersweet September from BBD. 

And after basking in the glow of these displays for a month of so, I've come to the conclusion that next year I should stitch more turkey smalls... and I already bought a couple of patterns... because like chickens, you can't have too many turkeys!

So I'm happy with the two small Thanksgiving finishes  but a whole lot of dithering followed. I think I've picked up a half a dozen different projects... and only one tiny  piece is completely stitched ...oh wait I just noticed it's missing a stitch... drat... anyway, I'll walk you through this parade of wrinkly projects...

First thing I was working on was the Mystery Sampler from Lizzie Kate... I stayed with this one the longest but I had to put it in time out. First I kept making mistakes... counting mistakes, wrong color floss mistakes, trying to fudge stuff to cover mistakes. I'm off one or two stitches on the border... so I made it longer... but as I was stitching this something dawned on me... and yes I'm not very observant here... this ISN'T a sampler by my definition... my definition says a piece should include an alphabet ... and there isn't one here... and yet that didn't really  truly occur to me for like two weeks!!!  And I'm not sure I even like this piece anymore. I decided to forgo the polymer clay buttons that came with the kit... tooooo PINK... maybe some hibernation will help this one.... And I kept telling myself that I wanted to work on a sampler...


But I didn't... instead I picked up this piece, a freebie from Brenda Gervais last Christmas called Merry & Minty... and this is almost done... needs just a few details... not sure why I put it down again, but it wasn't a sampler and I was craving some sampler stitching...

But this shiny thing popped up and I had to play with it...  isn't he a cute Santa?  He's a snippet from the pattern Christmas Stamps by Artmishka Crossstitch... here's a link to the pattern.  There are 7 cute Santas and I'd like to stitch all of them...and I noticed I'm missing one stitch on his hat ... and I'm going to add pom pom or a bell to the end of his hat....  These are cute and without the postage stamp border and stitching them on a colored linen they don't take long, but  I stopped after one because I really wanted to stitch on a sampler...

So I picked up this one Red Bird Sampler by With Thy Needle & Thread... it has Sampler right in the title... perfect, right?  I love the red birds on this turquoise linen... but when I really looked at the chart there wasn't an alphabet!!  And I contemplated just tossing this till I found a note I had left myself inside the pattern booklet... it said "add an alphabet at the bottom"... and I did!  Well I have almost half the alphabet ... it's going to span 2 rows and there should be room for my initials and a date... happy  happy happy that this is a going to be a sampler to fit my definition, buuuuutttt... then my craving turned to I want to do a Christmas sampler...

And here's where I am now... this is Christmas Joy from Barbara Ana Designs. I started this last year... maybe the year before that... anyway... I've made significant progress ... and I plan on finishing it this week as I ordered a frame from it from Amazon which should be here tomorrow... it will look great out on the sunroom porch which I'm decorating in pink and mint green and aqua with some retro touches... 

I'm typing this on Saturday evening... which doesn't feel like a Saturday, but it is... It has been a very productive day today... I got my window boxes all decorated for Christmas and the winter season. I filled them will little fake pine trees and greenery and added some sparkly discs that look like giant candies and some little solar lights that look like candles... I'll take some pictures for my next post. 

And I've gotten ALL my Fall decor taken down, boxed up and returned to the basement storage room!!  Credit for all the toting up and down the steps goes to my younger son, Nick ... I couldn't do it without him. He's already gotten out the Christmas quilts and they are all over the living room... my last count put me at around 25 Christmas quilts... and I made 3 more this season... can you tell I LOVE Christmas stuff?   Anyway tomorrow I'm going to  get out the rest of the decorations, and  by  I, I mean Nick will bring them upstairs... I have tomorrow and Monday open and I'd like to be finished by Monday night as I'll have Elliott here on Tuesday... it will be interesting to see if he bothers the tree... he's been pretty good with my knickknacks so far... some things I let him touch and other things I tell him no... so far so good...nothing has been broken. 

The older I get, the faster the months go... now some of the days seem quite long, but the months just zoom by. Only 28 days till Christmas...yikes... I do have pretty much of my shopping done, but I don't have a lot of people to shop for.  I want to make some cards and  some little gifts and nothing is wrapped... and I'm looking forward to Nick making fudge... he really got into it last year and it was delicious and he picked up all the ingredients last week... Right now the upcoming week looks pretty calm... I babysit Elliott on Tuesday,  and on Saturday night so his mom can attend a Christmas party and his dad can go to a college football game. I'm going to try to keep busy as it gets my mind off any aches and pains.  The weather's been pretty nice and we should get some rain this week... we could use a little and it is better than snow... 

I hope your week is looking good... I'm looking forward to having the house done up for Christmas and having a month to really enjoy it... and I'm ruminating about crafty plans for 2023...  as the last couple of weeks have shown I definitely want to stitch more samplers... I've gotten away from them in the last couple of years doing seasonal stuff.  I'd like to add some smalls to each season but I want to do some "real" samplers... as for quilting... a new quilt for Nick is top of my list... and I have a  Momo quilt I'd like to get back to, and I have a kit for the Tilda Embroidery Flower   quilt... you can see it here... I want to do that for Spring... and I have a ton of low volume fabrics I want to play with... and some American Jane fabrics too!  I know I won't run out of things to do... just need to focus!!

Well if you've made it the end ...and you need to congratulate yourself with something sweet to go with the beverage you started with... sorry I talked your ear off... 

I'll link up with Kathy's Quilts today and I know I'll find some time to see what everyone else is up to... always lots of inspiration!

happy stitching-

carol fun 

Sunday, October 30, 2022

A Slow Sunday where I'm feeling young but old...

Well October certainly flew by... which means Thanksgiving and Christmas will be here in the blink of a eye... my sainted Grandma told me time moves quicker the older you get ... and she was right... about that ... and about a lot of other things. I've had her on my mind quite a bit lately as I tripped down memory lane last week with my two BFFs from high school and a visit with my 93 year old cousin... wonderful visits full of laughter and hugs!  

And my health has left me feeling like I'm 10 years old again... but not in a good way... been dealing with a reoccurring ear infection and I got stung by bees!!!  Don't know where I picked up the ear infection but it was entailed 3 trips to the doctor and the bee stings came from trying to clear out part of my flower beds... got stung about 6 times on my hands and arms. I was wearing long sleeves and garden gloves and they stung me through my clothes ... others have speculated that these weren't bees but wasps or hornets, which may be the case.  The nest was in a hole in the ground which I disturbed pulling out some dead cleome.  Its been a week and the swelling has gone down but it still itches... All I need is a skinned knee and I'd be my 10 year old self again... LOL

Saturday I spent another couple of hours cleaning out flower beds... cut back all the dahlias in the big raised bed... and as I was working a song kept running through my head... A Hazy Shade of Winter... the Simon & Garfunkel version... 

Time, time, time
See what's become of me

 My son Nick was helping me the whole time... breaking up woody stems, putting them in lawn waste bags, hauling the filled bags to the patio, collecting all the garden stakes and twist ties, cutting off all the string I used for  staking... and I realized that I can't garden without help... and it left me feeling old... big sigh... I so appreciate his help as I know he's not  into gardening at all, but he cheerfully helps me... I am blessed... 

I will use the winter to contemplate my garden plans for next year... need a better staking system for the dahlias and should try to pinch them... we cut up dahlia plants that were 8 ft tall and stems as big around as a broom stick... maybe less petunias in the beds as some actually smothered a newly planted shrub pretty much killing it. I need to pull out plants I suspect are weeds sooner so they don't turn into 6 ft monsters... in my defense they looked pretty at first, but they never bloomed...  I'm leaving all my dahlia tubers in the ground. The ones in the bed are already getting a nice cover of leaves and I think I'll give them a top coat of more compost. The ones in the yard will get some nice mulch. And I'll buy some more tubers over the winter because like fabric and thread and yarn you can't have too many dahlias!!

Okay lets move on to some crafty stuff... I finished up my Halloween stitching and FFO-ing last night so here are my displays, starting with the small shelf unit...



A couple of smalls from Lizzie Kate....


More Lizzie Kate...Halloween ABCs... and one of my best painted linen  projects... Rit dyes in Lemon Yellow, Tangerine, Apple Green and Hyacinth.


A little witch snippet from Prairie Schooler Treat or Treat... got that little house at that Dollarspot at Target and she fit inside perfectly. 

A new piece for this year...  Creepy Crawly Alphabet from Salt and Pepper Stitching... stitched on 40 ct linen (not my fav)  but it had to be this small to fit into the clock frame...  and idea I got from Kim Goldman ... The Contented Stitcher on Flosstube... check out her stuff here.  She has framed a lot of pieces using clocks and I love how she stitches just sections of bigger samplers... I'm doing more of that these days... sorry got off on a tangent...

Another new piece for this year... Spooky was a freebie from Heart in Hand.. but I can't find it on the web now... argh... and I still love that Longaberger pumpkin basket...


This bottom shelf has room for more Halloween stitching... next year... the little Nevermore pillow was a Lizzie Kate piece and I'm didn't realize how much LK Halloween I've stitched till I put this display together... they did do lots of cute stuff!


I LOVE that vintage picnic tin ... the BOO metal letters came from Hobby Lobby ... and this would be a great spot for more Halloween stitching...sigh... 



An anecdote... Elliott has been enamored with the Halloween displays but has confined his touching to things with batteries that light up ... there are several pumpkins and 2 little candelabras, and they have all spent a lot of time being lit up on Tuesdays... he was disappointed that a ceramic pumpkin on the large shelf display has cut outs which would lead you to believe it lights up... but it doesn't... so sad... 

Onto the large display... 

At the top there is Spooky Alphabet by Bent Creek  and below that Trick or Treat from Prairie Schooler .. my favorite Halloween crosssitch piece!!  The little pillow is from The Drawn Thread's Little Bits of Halloween... and I'm totally in love with that trio of happy little ghosts... picked it up at Homegoods months ago...






Next shelf has a some cute pumkin headed gals from With Thy Needle & Thread... on the left is Trick or Treat and on the right is Boo to You... and the two little witch pillows were just FFO'd yesterday... they are from the Pineberry Lane pattern called Three Little Witches ... and there are 3 charts but I only stitched 2... 







And bottom shelf has more punkin headed gals both from Notforgotten Farms... on the left is Halloween Queen ... now I started that last year and finished it about 2 months ago... the scene on her dress caught my eye but it took a while to stitch all that brown... on the right is Matilda Hornbuckle... and the pillow is my last Halloween finish for this year... a snippet of Pineberry Lane's Fancey Blackett's Little Fancies... 





I've enjoyed my Halloween displays but I'm looking forward to getting out my Thanksgiving stuff... got re-decorating penciled in for Wednesday!!   The Fall weather has been lovely... we even got the 2nd Summer bit where temps go back up into the upper 70s for a couple of days. The trees this year are gorgeous... I have 2 Wildfire Black Gum trees  I had planted in the median between the street and the sidewalk about 7 or 8 years ago and they are on fire this year!!

This picture does not do it justice... it literally glows!!

And the giant maple in the back yard of the house across the street that I see through my picture window is a beautiful yellow...  I do LOVE Fall MOST of ALL!!

I haven't been doing much quilt sewing, but I have been cross stitching... I finished Blackbird Designs' Feliz Navidad...


This is on 36 ct linen I dyed with Apple Green Rit Dye...  think DMC 3664... I used 2 ply of floss to get the coverage I like.  Need to get this to the framer ASAP so I have it for Christmas.

And finishing that sampler has re-ignited my love of sampler stitching... so I looked at my UFOs and there are a couple... several... many...  ummmm.... more than I'm going to admit to... samplers I want to get back to, so I pulled out this one, as it seemed to be the farthest along... This is a Lizzie Kate Mystery Sampler called Things Unseen...


The quote is from Helen Keller and it does speak to my  heart... now this is on 32 ct Wren with all the called for overdyed flosses... I bought it as a complete kit... I'm not fond of the linen... too soft for my taste ... and for some reason I'm having a heck of a time stitching this ... I've frogged as much as I've stitched this last week... so many counting errors... arghh... but I'm pushing on... I changed my mind about using the polymer clay buttons in the kit... leaving them off... and that border is taking forever... if I was starting this now instead of back in 2014 I would have left off the border... 

I want to re-do the sampler wall in my craft room... plan to squeeze in more samplers ... thinking about a re-do of  the samplers on the wall in the living room...  considering a wall of decorative china plates... maybe... I've been in this little house 9 years... can't fit in any more furniture and have minimal wall space to work with... don't want to repaint but feel a need for a little bit of change... which will probably get me into trouble...LOL

So the week ahead looks pretty open... no doctor appointments ... had 3 last week... arggh... guy is suppose to come on Monday to clean and detail my car ... in my driveway... don't need to get someone to follow me and take it to the detailing garage and leave it over night and then have someone take me back to pick it up... yeah!!!  There is still more yard clean up ...  And some not fun sewing I should do... hem pants for me and Nick... Definitely want to cross stitch and I've been knitting socks again... I never lack for things I want to do!!

I'll link up with Kathy's Quilts and check out what's going on there... always lots of inspiration... hope you have a good week ahead of you with time to do all the things you want to do!!

happy stitching-
carol fun 

PS  ... I'm not completely happy with the quality of the pictures I posted... I sent them from my phone to my laptop as smaller bytes of data as they show up waaaaay faster in my inbox ... you can see almost all of these pics on my Instagram...  carolfun53... and they are better quality... sorry... 


Sunday, October 9, 2022

I'm so glad I live in a world with Octobers... on a Slow Sunday...

 Hello all !   Oh it is definitely FALL here in SW Ohio and I am LOVING it!!  Cooler temperatures and the leaves are turning all my favorite colors... gold, orange, scarlet... what a gorgeous palette!   And on the practical side, the weather has hit that sweet spot where I don't need to turn on the AC... just opening the windows... and I haven't had to turn on the furnace.... I got an email from my utility company the other day noting that I'm using less energy.... and while they were congratulating me, I do think they were hoping I'm ramp up my usage soon... which will come... the last two months bills were outrageous... I could use a little break...

I'm really enjoying decorating with Fall and Halloween ... I'll put a couple of pics of the Fall stuff I put out... and then last week I made some substitutions and got out Halloween... and then at the beginning of November I'll move into Thanksgiving... and before you know it,  (ummm... 77 days) it will be Christmas... the weeks seem to fly by... 

So here's how my displays looked at the end of September... lots and lots and lots of pumpkins... and a nice collection of cross stitch...

Here's the tier tray by the pumpkin quilt... I stitched that  Autumn piece from Prairie Schooler years ago... No. 50 Prairie Seasons ...  I've also done Winter and Spring... I do love Prairie Schooler's style... one of the first designers I fell in love with and stitching their stuff all these years later is soothing and comforting... I've got some PS Santas  already queued up for Christmas. The little pumpkin headed guy is from Pineberry Lane's Cats & Jack's pattern which you can find here.  PDF download... instant gratification!!

The tall display is anchored by that wonderful chart Feast of Friendship by Blackbird Designs...  that GIANT bowl of fruit... that BIG BLUE house... classic BBD!!  I turned it into a true sampler by squeezing an alphabet into the cartouche at the bottom. 

Next shelf had Lizzie Kate's Autumn Alphabet #149... I've stitched all of these seasonal alphabets from LK... they were fun and you feel a sense of accomplishment with each little block...  the two pieces to the right are both BBD.... they were club pieces from Dyeing to Stitch when I did them, but they've since been released... at one time they were both called Bittersweet September, but they fixed that and now the one on the left is Bittersweet Lane (LOVE that border...looks like a bracelet to me) and the one on the right is Bittersweet September... I stitched the C & and N in a different color as those are my sons' initials.


Finishing up this display is my newest finish,  Fall Most of All by Calico  Confectionery  which you can find here...  check out her Etsy, she has some wonderful seasonal designs... there's a little BBD pillow, Waiting for Harvest and Autumn Keeper by Barbara Ana Designs. 



Here's the small display unit... a Lizzie Kate Autumn keeps company with a cute squirrel... the tree is Autumn Harvest from Barbara Ana Designs.. and I love that little white pumpkin quilt done in Sandy Gervais fabrics... she does the best fall fabrics... IMHO!! 







Below is the Flower Pot Sampler by From the Heart Needleart... one of the first pieces I stitched on linen I dyed myself ... I remember stitching this one when I broke my left wrist... I had to use a q- snap and a floor stand but I managed to figure out how to stitch while I was in a cast... it saved me from going crazy (although that is my opinion and it not held by all who know me...LOL)... funny what memories are attached to our stitching...  I still love that Longaberger pumpkin basket... and on the bottom shelf is my version of The Stitcherhood's Quaker Pumpkin... Thanks for indulging me in my trips down memory lane as I try to recall the names of the pieces I've stitched. Every season when I get my stuff out I think I have plenty of stitching... but then as I arrange things I always see a spot for a little more... which keeps me stitching... I'll never run out of stuff I want to do!!


So that was September and I started October with my Gourdy Guys wreath and my Lizzie Kate Boo Club piece.


I get out this wreath pronto on October 1 because it is the most labor intensive wreath I've ever made. There were 6 -7 individual steps to painting every face, so I need to admire it as much as I can!!



 LK Boo Club is a great stitch, if I say so myself... the painted linen came out even better than I envisioned it.   Hyacinth, Tangerine, Lemon Yellow and Apple Green Rit dyes make the best Halloween palette!   

Got out my spider quilt...

I arranged that pumpkin on the Haberdashery mini quilt so it looks like he scoping it out. 


Elliott was here on Tuesday and I thought he might try to pluck the eyeballs off of the spider as he did to the chicken quilt I had up in August... luckily for the spider Elliott was more interested in taking the batteries out of the pumpkin (it lights up and cackles) and exchanging the batteries for batteries in other light up pumpkins... I had a question on IG about how I get the quilts to lie so flat on the wall... I use a Hang it- Dang it quilt rod... you can find them here... they come in different lengths and they are adjustable for different widths of quilts... then I tape down the edges with this...

Scotch Brand Double Sided Poster Tape... I've been using this for years and it has never damaged the quilt or the paint on the wall ... sometimes I can even reuse the tape month to month... A tip for using this tape is DON'T use the cutter .. instead rip it off... you get a jagged edge which gives up a little nub or two of the tape to hold onto to get the backing off. ... less frustrating... and that's my Martha Stewart decorating spiel...LOL!

The tier tray had a the cross stitch switched out for a LK Halloween piece Pumpkin Pocket... it was a kit but all I used was the chart and the little black button... I like the painted linen a lot!  Those candy corn salt & pepper shakers are a hoot... and the Trick or Treat is a snippet from PS Trick or Treat  No. 88... I loved this chart soooo much that I stitched the whole piece and then I stitched snippets from it too.


 Which is what these little guys are... all snippets from PS No. 88...

I'm still working on the tall and the small display shelf units... got a couple of new Halloween pieces to add to them.


I did work in my garden last week and pulled out  7 of those TALL yard waste bags full of fading zinnias... I'm kinda hoping for a good frost to kill off what's left of my annuals so I can clean out the beds. I want to add to my outdoor lighting and that can't be done till I clear the space. The dahlias are still blooming away even though the winds are playing havoc with them and breaking off branches.  Here's one I brought in the other day, which truly lives up to its dinnerplate moniker... it is about 9" across and the color is fabulous!!  God sure makes some beautiful stuff!!   I've not made any dahlia tuber orders ... yet... I probably don't need any more tubers... except I'd like more of the variety called Brown Sugar ... it s gorgeous deep peach/orange color... and I think  I need some of the smaller pompom varieties... they are such adorable little ball shaped cuties!  I have plenty of time to order ... usually I do it in January while dreaming of Spring...a good thing to do when its zero outside!



So that's where the decorating stands... I'm still stitching a bit of Halloween and Thanksgiving... and as I said I've got some Christmas queued up... I took two Christmas quilt tops to Delinda the other week and I have one more on my design wall and another cut out...Can't stop making Christmas quilts even though I have over 25 already... they make me happy!!   And with the world in the state it is in, I need every little bit of happy stuff I can get!!!


I'll link up with Kathy's Quilts today ... and if I get my butt in gear I may have a design wall to show tomorrow... no promises, but all the blocks are made, just need to get them arranged and then sewn together. Next week is busy busy busy... I have something going on every single day... which won't leave much time for stitching or sewing... but I'll try ... 

Hope you are having a lovely October...  as Anne of Green Gables said "I'm so glad I live in a world with Octobers" ... 

happy stitching!

carol fun


P.S. -- I hope that all the pics I posted are in the correct spots... Blogger gets fussier and fussier which each week. It takes forever to get anything to post ... by my count is I spent almost 3 hours on this between writing it and trying to get the photos to show up... which is the main reason I'm posting less and less... sorry... yes I can ramble on more here but IG is soooo much easier... So to remind you if you wonder what I'm up to, go check me out on IG       carolfun53