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Hurry up springtime!


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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Crafting Weekend

My daughter's and I got together for the 3-day Easter Weekend.  As always we enjoyed the time together.  Bless my son-in-law for putting up with a house full of women squealing, giggling, crafting and laughing.   No wonder he went out and ran a half marathon!

We had a crafting frenzy on Friday and Saturday.  I finally finished (at least this stage) of my string quilt.    Heather had a flannel design wall which made moving and arranging the individual squares for the final layout before sewing so easy.  I need to square up the sides, put on an outer border and choose a backing (which may taken another 3 years!!) but I am super happy to have moved to the next step.


Also stitched up this quilt top using a variation on the 'racetrack' pattern.  I was originally going to use it as the back for the quilt above but I have decided yet.

We even squeezed in a hike along the Wissahickon in Fairmont Park.  If was a great weekend of family, fellowship, good food and fun.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Remiss

Well I have run amok in the past, been askew before, gotten all wonky along the way but now admit to now being remiss.     Balancing between getting my energy back as well as enjoying the warmer weather I have been drawn to do much anticipated yard work.  It seems I come inside and just kind of collapse in the arm chair.   To that point I have neglected sending necessary get well cards, thank you notes, just a notes, stitching of any measurable amount and my pen pal in Connecticut as well as other little paperwork necessities.   Even though some things are slipping I am enjoying the  'good tired' of working outdoors.

Stitching has been coming along.   I finished Happy Easter by SamSarah.   For the most part it was stitched as charted.  I left off some of the 'floating' button motifs.  I finished before Easter but admit I have to do the 'finishing' still.

The yard work that has been calling me has involved a one woman effort to eradicate ground cover! OMGosh what was I thinking all those years ago when I planted it.    Ivy and Vinca Vine and Loriope!   Geez.    Across our back property line I have been pulling out ivy hand over fist.   I managed another 2 to 3 feet across the entire back this spring.
I ran a tape to give me a rough idea of a straight line for how far to go back.  You can see, Buddy, decided to 'help'.


I am happy with what I am been able to reclaim.    A good two to three feet.  The grass seed is in and ready to grow.

I have been redesigning some flower beds.  Just need to add the Winterberry I bought and spread the mulch to call it done here.   I have doing much needed thinning of hostas and dividing coral bells.   I dug out a butterfly bush and replaced it with a Serviceberry and some dwarf spirea to this bed.  Once the Serviceberry and spirea fill out along the property line they should create privacy between the neighbor and my back deck.


I reclaimed this bench from the overgrown ivy that was wrapped around it in the back yard and moved it out front.    Not for sitting!   Replacing the rotten seat in on the list.  So nice to see the bed ready for mulch and NO SNOW.

For stitching, I have made Penny America my take along project.  Following your lead, I am trying to concentrate on one project at a time until finished.  It does show progress faster.  Grace Mason will be for stitching at home since it is a bigger project.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit.  Have a great week.  I know I will.....planning and packing for 4-day girls weekend in OCMD!  



Friday, April 4, 2014

Getting My Giddyup Back

It has been slow to say the least in getting my stamina back post surgery....maybe it is that work thing that has me dragging my wagon.  At any rate, I have very little bits of stitching progress to report.

You know that first kiss feeling, that feeling when you watch your child graduate high school or college, that child's wedding-day-feeling, and to get a bit risqué, that feeling when someone-flirts-with-you-feeling?   I was hit with that feeling when I returned to work.  Wow was I missed.  Euphoria.  Is that it?  I sure wish I could bottle it because I could make a million bucks.  It is so good to feel special if only for a little bit....and then reality takes over.

As for progress, nothing done on my strip/string quilt.  In fact in my usually hot-mess-self-mode it is still strewn about the sewing room floor!  I feel pretty sure that any future thought of making an annual list of goals on New Year's Day will be scoffed about by myself and will be quickly be tossed out the window.  New things come up and that list just becomes a bitter reminder that I have strayed......

Take for instance my SamSarah Easter Bunny.   I had already checked out of Salty Yarns at my fall retreat and went back in for one last stroll and Yep! this jumped, I mean it really jumped into my hands and propelled me to the checkout counter.  I had hopes of a quick stitch and completion for Easter.  This was a new start treat for vacation.


I managed a quick stop at a needlework shop last weekend to pick up the coordinating buttons. (quick!  Lightning speed was more like it.  Mr. W. was waiting with the truck running into parking lot!)  I am really liking this one and the more I look at SamSarah Designs, the more I love them.  I know more SamSarah Designs are in my future to be sure.




Just a teeny tiny bit stitched on Penny America.  I started off the year dedicated to this one and Grace Mason and look what has become of me!



My guild SAL has not seen needle and thread come together for months.  Believe it or not, this is stitched in three of the lightest shades of a taupe color.  

I  - became disappointed by the lack of color variation;
   - contemplated starting all over;
   - ordered beads to replace the ba-zillion french knots;
   - got discouraged and stopped.

Now June and our group completion is fast approaching.   I am only on row 11 of 22.  Memory had me further down the sampler.  Better get a move on.

And then there is Grace Mason.   I do fear she may just up and leave home if I don't get back to work on her.    I have a retreat at the end of April....maybe I should make peace with Grace and take her along and give her my undivided attention.


So as if I didn't have enough active projects I pulled out this Jeannette Douglas piece to work on. There is definitely a method behind my madness of straying here.  As usual, I can justify any stitching project.  My coworkers gifted me with the burled wood dowry box that goes with this piece as a get well present.  I was stunned beyond belief.  (Understand the euphoria better now?).  I just had to pull this out of my WIP basket.


These non-stitching/non-crafting coworkers think I can just whip this up in a weekend.  The box arrived yesterday and they think I can be done by the end of the month.  April 30, 2015 maybe!   Anyway, there has been a bit of frogging.   I am not enjoying all the stitching, ie the over one. The good thing is each little section gives me a feeling of accomplishment.  Jeannette Douglas uses the most awesome colors and silks but some are too close to the linen color.  I fret about all the stitching that barely shows up.  Since I bought this off eBay years ago I may have wrongly assumed the linen and floss are as charted.

I am not sure how I will proceed.   Stitch on one at a time until complete; assign one as my take along project; rotate to a new project each day; dedicate a select piece to my weekend piece???   Penny America holds a dear place in my heart and just want to stitch it.  The band sampler SAL - oh no, June will be here before I know it.  I have to do Grace Mason because eight of us are stitching it and I am nearly last in line on completion.   Everyone at work is waiting to see My Stitching Treasures completed.   And SamSarah is just too darn cute!   So the best laid plans of mine have run amok!   Oh the decisions!!!  Anyway, that's what's been happening in my little nest on the nights I don't fall asleep shortly after cozying up in the recliner.  Hope your weekend ahead is a good one.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's back to work I go!

Well at least as of this Wednesday, I will be back at work.  From what I am hearing, they are more ready for me to come back then I am to go back to work.    However....now that I am getting out and about I NEED to return to work to help support my recent spending sprees.   Not that I have been too bad but after being housebound for four weeks I did so enjoy getting out...shopping Home Depot, JoAnn's and Boscov's......I did so well staying away from temptations since the first of the year but, but, but.....I'm worth it.....right, that's my story and I am sticking to it.

This is some of what I picked up at JoAnn's.  A new Fiskar's cutting mat,  these little felt easter cuties and these adorable little teeny tiny clothes pins.   Since they are self adhesive, I plan to mount them on the felt, cut and hang on my springtime tree.




I just love love love these little bitty clothes pins.   Could be cute with card making too.




I managed to cross off a WIP off my list.  I started it July 2013 so it is not too terribly old of a start.  This is the third of a trio called Americana from Bent Creek.   Love those designs that come all kitted up.

Ready to frame up! 
These are the two companion pieces that complete the trio.

You know all the plans of things you would do when if you were home....such grandiose ideas and minimal completion.  My strip quilt/WIP may not be completed but it has moved closer to completion.  I had thought once I had started feeling better while on medical leave I could knock this out with no problem.   Well not necessarily the case.   I managed about an hour of sewing before I needed to stop.  And then when I able to go out and drive, the work ceased.   It's all good.   I am happy with the progress and I am in the  home stretch.  Just one more full sized square and some half and quarter sized squares to be stitched from the already prepped strips.


 I needed to slide my cutting table down to make some floor space to lay this out.   Hmmmm,  I wonder what Buddy will do with this once he gets ripping and raring around. in my sewing room.

And my current stitch.   This is Happy Easter from  SamSarah Designs.   This is to be finished to display on a wrought iron table stand.   Now that I can wear my glasses again I think I can knock this out by Easter.
 I picked up these two fat quarters hoping they would match.  Silly me, I like the one on the left that was already in my stash.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Hello Old Friends!

Yeah me!  Stitches from latest surgery out this morning and I can now put my glasses back on.   I can now see everything that is less than five feet away from me.  What a relief!


Yesterday I went to the 51st Annual Woodlawn Exhibit in Alexandria, VA.   I was somewhat disappointed with the display itself but it may be me.   You know when you first see something like the Woodlawn show you are knocked off your feet by sheer quantity and the quality of the pieces on display. Returning year after year nothing seems to quite measure up to that first visit when you were awed?   I think that is where I was yesterday.  There were a lot more needlepoint pieces this year and not as many Japanese Embroidery than in the past.  There was a special exhibition on loan from the White House of stitching of the First Ladies which was pretty neat.  Overall, I don't think the total number of pieces submitted for display was as many as there have been in the past.  What was there was exquisite and inspiring.  It was a very nice day.   Always is when you spend the day with stitching friends.

I did finish my wool table runner.   I've got some pesky wrinkles that I will have to gently steam out.  They are kind of a good indication of how long this kit has sat folded in the packaging just waiting for my attention.






Friday, March 7, 2014

Where There's a Will...

Given lemons, let's make lemonade!

Can't see to sew, bring on my snake-light magnifier


Can't see to read, use Apple Airtime to put my Kindle Ap in the TV.


And last, a breath of spring from the geranium I am wintering over in my laundry room.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

LOL

Needleprint has a post about Downton Abbey (click here) There is a Downton Abbey quiz to see which character you are.   I am Bates!  LOL   These are the things you did when home on medical leave ;-)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Friday, February 28, 2014

More passing time....

Feeling better.   Thought I was better last week and I was, but I am even better this week.  Visited my surgeon yesterday and he is pleased with my progress.   My next surgery is on the 4th and then it will be the count down for back to work which may be as soon as March 10th.....I have fingers crossed it will be March 17th.  Not trying to shirk my job responsibilities but hey, I will still have stitches across my face!   Alas,  so it goes.

In addition to looking forward to going back to work (sic) I have a road trip planned with my stitching pals to Woodlawn in March.   Woodlawn is in Alexandria VA and will be hosting the 51st Annual Needlework show.   Thousands of items are submitted each year and are on display throughout the mansion for our viewing pleasure.   It is a nice road trip with friends, we will have lunch out and *perhaps* a stop at a needlework store too!  I am so looking forward to being able to be out in public again.

Seems I have exhausted Buddy who appears to have fallen asleep mid-play.  I bet he will be happy when I go back to work and let him have the day to sleep uninterrupted.







 I stitched up this heart on wool.  Even though Valentine's Day is past, it is still out.   Hearts and snowmen still decorate my house and will likely stay around another ten days until I get clearance from the doctor to move about a bit more.  Maybe I need to get those snowmen away and spring flowers out to encourage springtime.


















Miss Amy, Nurse #2, stitched up this quilt while she was here.   She also made this shawl for a friend.  And that was in between doing uniform alterations for an indoor drum line she assists with. I am doubly blessed.  Not only do I have wonderful daughters - they are stitchers and crafters too!


















When Nurse #1 - Heather was here, she stitched two quilt tops, spun and plyed yarn, and sewed two tote bags.   Unfortunately I was not clear headed enough to think to take photos of all her accomplishments but I did get one of the yarn.


I did get this photo of Heather's handiwork.   She delights in turning my bears upside down to see how long before I notice.



For me, I continue to get my stitching fix with my wool applique.




This has been a good project to work on while being challenged without glasses.