Saturday, July 23, 2016

A finish...

I traveled to Philly today to spend the day with my fabulous daughter.   I arrived early and she was not back from the store so I enjoyed my coffee on her deck while I waited.  She has the sweetest set up for the city.   End of a row, paved patio between her house and her detached garage.

I enjoyed my view and my coffee until she got home.  

Creativity is seldom tidy!

Then we got down to business.  She and I spent the day crafting.   She is making a quilt for a co-worker who is leaving to go to law school.                                   I got some pointers from my Thursday night friends on finishing my pin cushion.  They suggested circles of batting in graduated sizes.

 It worked.    I still have a couple of little hiccups to smooth so I need to get out my Purple Thang and ease everything smooth but am happy overall.

 And then there is little Will!  Twelve weeks yesterday.   He is growing like a weed and seems to be a little bit of a ham for the camera.  Lucky me, I get to see him again next weekend.

And another view I never get tired of... it's no wonder the color of pool water is my favorite color

  That's all I've got........stitch on my friends!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Sugar, Yes please.

Well well is summertime for sure.  Poor yourself a nice big lemonade or iced tea and get comfy for catching up.  Humidity, heat warnings, A/C,  pool time,  not much stitching and ..........Probation for someone!    Let me give you a some history here.  Take usual......a little yard work and then exercising in the pool, tonight without wine, some nights with wine.  For my listening pleasure tonight a little Hotel California, a little New York Minute ...just mellowing out with The Eagles.  I always prop my iPad up behind a towel to protect it from any splash over from the pool.   So just where in all 15,000 square feet of the yard do you think Mr. Buddy needs to lie down?   You got it.   On the towel of course.   

It seems if I am pulling weeds it may be in my best interest to don the attire of a bee keeper.  Not because of bees or bugs or even the occasional hop toad or snake...

 Buddy, the cat,  likes to lie under the Stella Dora lilies - only when I am weeding of course - and attack the be-Jesus out of my arms.  Me and Buddy are not seeing eye to eye at all.     Sir Budrew Beauregard Pain in the Neck Cat!    He lies in wait under the leaves of the lilies and pounces with every stretch of my arms to grasp and pull the brown leaves out.   Last week I had more scratches on my forearms than I can count.    Now lets move to another flower bed where I am removing the ground cover, laying landscaping fabric (first time using this) and spreading mulch.   Where does Buddy choose to  lay? flop? Yes,  right where I am smoothing out and securing the landscaping fabric.  He rolls around and scratches at the unsecured corners.  Really!

Buddy even has helped me with my stitching.   No sooner do I sit down, put the recliner up, move the dazor light to the right angle, pick up my stitching, thread the needle, find my place on the chart and place the first stitch, does Sir Buddy want to go out.   The routine starts....project down, recliner down, light and magnifier moved, and up I get to let him out.  Sit back down, reposition myself, start to stitch and he wants in, repeat the process at least three more times.  OMGosh!  My life used to be ruled by two year olds and then by teenagers and their schedules.   I had more control over them then I do with this cat!  

Now, let's move to my house guests and the real reason for Buddy being on probation!  I have found 'evidence' of mice in my pantry closet.   I just pulled everything out about three weeks ago so I know my little visitors are recent.   Buddy who must be Morris the Cat of TV fame incarnate looks at me expect me to do something?   My chastising of Buddy and putting him on probation was meet with purrs and his eyes closing like cats do.   
Of course I don't have my camera around my neck when does this with me when I spread mulch....or the other night when he decided he should stalk and attack two canadian geese that were visiting the retention pond across the street.   Well he has delusions of grandiere for sure.    Geese 1, Buddy 0.

Enough of Sir Buddy, my regal pain in my you know what.

I did finally finished the bargello piece.   I don't know why this took so long but I can say I  do not spend as much time stitching during the summer.   So much outside to do.   (Non-stitching) Friends to visit or visiting.  So it goes.

For mounting this piece, I adding strips of fabric to help with stretching over the base plate.   The Lone Elm shaker box is of the best quality.   It was hard to decide on the color between all that were offered and I settled on the black since black is a neutral and I have wrought iron and other black trimmed furniture.   

I can't seemed to get this pulled nice and smooth so I will be taking it to stitching group this week and see if anyone can offer any suggestions.    

On to the next project.......a quick patriotic stitch and the rehabilitation of a cat gone rogue.

But the best yet to share....this  was my birthday week.   OMGosh my co-workers and friends are the greatest.    Dinner with girlfriends from high school on Friday; Saturday brought friends to visit by the pool and they brought casseroles and salads and I only had to provide the pool; Sunday was dinner and ice cream cake at a friend's pool, so again no work for me......

......but then I go to work on Monday and a little birdie told someone I like Adam Levine.......well I had to suffer through looking at posters of him all day.

My co-workers had this full sized cut out of Adam Levine along with many other small and poster sized pix of him.  Even in the bathroom stall when you shut the door....I open a drawer or my overhead cabinets and there he is again.  I think the men on the floor are sick of two days of making a fuss over Adam but he has a stay in place until the CEO comes in and she sees him.  Then I am folding him up and bringing him home.  

I know he is thinking...."What? The other girls think you have too much stash! Never.  Their not real friends."

Years ago I had a cardboard man from a school fundraiser and we had such fun with him.  We would put him in people's showers, or at someone's  front door for them to find when they go out to pick up the paper or in their garage standing next to their car for them to find in the morning.  We just cracked ourselves up with Mr. Earl.  My new cardboard man is an improvement over the grand pop looking one I had. So flowers and presents and lunch at the Hilton and just looking at Adam all day.  It was rough birthday.

........"I'd love to take you to another cross stitch store if you want." 

Later in the day, he was thinking, "You want to start a new project?  Sure, go ahead.  You can't have too many WIP's."

Really, in the bathroom stall too!  And I didn't even mention how I was covered glitter all day from the birthday banner.   I looked like (I am imagining!!!) I had been to a strip club!

The end!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Fourth of July

It's 4th of July weekend and that means picnics and hot dogs and burgers and for me this time!  My son and his family traveled down for the weekend and it has been wonderful to see and hold little Will.    He has changed a lot since I last saw him and although FaceTime is great, it sure is not the same as baby time.    It has been an unending stream of people visiting and meeting Will for the first time.  It is great and so far afield from my normal weekend life.   I am loving it.    

We took Will into the pool for his first swim.   He liked that water  but sure didn't like the brightness of the sun.   

Of course, I bought him his first swimsuit and beach hat..... he needs to grow into the hat for sure!  

For stitching, I was being a little hard on myself that I had not yet completed my bargello piece and then  I thought......uuummm,  I do have a job, I do work in the yard, I do house work ......and I only started this on June processing all that and I am now happy now realize that I am not too much of a needlework slug.  Why are we always hardest on ourselves?  And for me, why do I always think things will take less time that they really do?  For this weekend, there is no stitching time when there is a baby in the house!

June 5th start

July 4th status.  

Hopefully, when everyone packs up and heads out later today,  after I clean up and get everything back to normal, I will have some me time/stitching time.  

Have a great week all, thanks for stopping by and stitch on.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Getting to the party late....

My yard work is coming along.  This weekend I finally manage to get through every bed to get done except for those areas I am changing.   Overall, I seem to have been late to the party this year.  I should have been done weeks ago albeit except for the grand removal of ground cover.   We have been fortunate to have some low humidity weather which makes this work that much more pleasant to do.  

I think my next door neighbor took pity on me out there every evening pulling and digging, I came home and he had helped me out on his side of the property line and then some.  I baked him a cake today, which I burnt.  It is not too terrible that I can't cut off the top and eat it myself but certainly can't give it to him.   I will try again tomorrow for another cake, moving the over rack first.  Fabian and Elmira moved last year and are the best neighbors I have had in 34 years of living here.  He deserves a cake for his helping me and making sure all is ok with me while Mr. W. is away.

 I'm a getting there.......mulch to be spread and grass seed to be planted and I'm calling this bed done for this year.  I've actually seen new growth on my Azaleas......I think they were being choked out before.

Stitching is coming along as well.  I am kind of impressed with myself that I am sticking to one project at a time.  I have 13 rows completed of 16 so it shan't be long now.   Except that now the those concentric circles are getting bigger and therefore taking longer and longer.  As I was stitching and the circles were getting bigger and bigger it seemed something was amiss.  I used my  Cross Stitch Calculator AP several times entering the stitch count, the fabric count, and I kept coming up 7 x 7.  The slip of paper in the bag said 7 x7....wrongo.....the slip may say 7 x 7 but the fabric is 6 x 6.   I knew something didn't look quite right.  I think it will all work out.

It is pretty cool how the color changes like nap on corduroy.

Talk about coming late to the the party......I just now starting watching Games of Thrones.  Seems only every fifth person in the world doesn't watch.   I just finished season three and the red wedding.....the night is dark and full of off to stitch and another episode.

PS  So excited....Little Man, AKA Will, is coming to visit Gramma over the 4th of July!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Settling In

Mr. W. is on the road again for 8 weeks and I feel like I am settling into the single life for the summer.   He retired this month after 43 years of service with the same company but since he is traveling it hasn't sunk in to me yet.  Keeping myself busy many evenings with the ridiculous endeavor to remove all the ground cover from a flower bed.   Slow and steady I am making progress.  I can't put in 12-hours days on a Saturday or Sunday in the yard like I used to but I am getting there.   Hopefully a couple more bags of mulch will be spread today.  And I am thinking those spindly mulberry trees need to come down.   Hmmmm, do I wait for Mr. W.?    I'll let you know how that plays out.

I finally braved the cold pool water, 76 degrees, it was not nearly as bad I feared.   It felt delicious after toiling in the gardens all day.

This bed too could use from thinning out but not this year......the photo doesn't show the variety of yellows, whites, purples, blues and fuchsias that greet me on this walk down the side of my house.

We decided to have the back deck redone with composite decking this year.   Work started in April, then stopped, then started, then stopped.  Somewhere along the contractor has become ill.   They have been sending a substitute crew in to finish the work between their own jobs.   We can't get any info on the contractor and have to respect the family's privacy.  We refer to our house as the 'house that Mike build' because of all the work he has done here.   Hopefully he is on the road to recovery.

I am easy though and his health is more important then a deck.   My deck is functional and I have my summertime stitching/eating/cup of coffee spot back.    My neighbors must think me the crazy cat lady as I do enjoy showering up early and putting on fresh pjs and sitting here in the evenings.   Just me and the cat and my stitching or a book.

See, deck is functional......they just need to finish the fascia board on the steps and sides.  Certainly not hindering my enjoyment.

I know I am supposed to complete the entire round before starting the next row but of course I wanted to get a preview of the colors.

I seem to be satisfied with stitching on just this project right now.  I am looking forward to finishing this and assembling it in the Lone Elm shaker box.  There are 16 rows altogether and I have finished/started 11 rows.  It could be because once the ground rows were in  there is no need to following the pattern that makes this easy.  That is now that I have mastered counting to 5!  Maybe because it wasn't even in my stash let alone my stitching rotation and I am feeling disloyal to the 'list' and I feel I must complete this asap....I think next up may be another not-on-my-list quick patriotic stitch - I am a sucker for all thinks patriotic.  But I do have that needle book to assemble......decisions, decisions.  I seem to make a habit of doing a job 90% and stopping.  Better get that last 10% of the garden beds not yet weeded and to spreading mulch so I can stitch the afternoon away!   Grocery shopping and laundry on the the agenda before heading out to tackle more of the yard. Good thing I love all things outdoors....including yard work.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great week all.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Counting 1.01

Wanted to get a super quick post out here before I tackle house and yard work......

Here is my progress on the Jeannette Douglas Bargello Pincushion.   It is going well....EZ PZ so I thought....after that initial base is stitched it should only be a matter of counting five threads and
following the pattern......well if I have trouble on a normal day counting to two, what made me think counting to five would be so EZ PZ?    Somewhere along the line I got off by one thread and I am not sure where......I made a couple of rows in compensation stitches and I may have resolved the counting issue without any visible flaw.   I am willing to try compensation before the last resort of frogging and starting over.  I think I got off when I was stitching this as my Guild Meeting.    I should know better to select only pieces that are fool proof when there are distractions.  As we say, it looks good from the top of the bridge!

On a good note for this piece, I am using two strands of WDW and am railroading the stitches.  I am pretty much happy with the coverage of the satiny looking stitches.

Lizzie Kate's Things Unseen Mystery Sampler
And a finish........why I worked up to 80 to 85% percent of completion and then shoved buried put this aside I don't know.   I can now move this to the completed column!  This was stitched pretty much as charted save those counting issues I seem to have.   I did use 'bee' buttons instead of stitching 'bees'.   There were some other buttons that came with the kit and the pattern had the option to stitch the area or use the buttons.   I decided to stitch the motifs and save the buttons for a finishing project down the road.

Tell tale signs of where I stitched and then removed bees should
come out with a washing and pressing.

OK, time to tackle the house and laundry before heading out to vacuum the ICE COLD pool.   Seems Mr. Wonderful couldn't fit vacuuming the pool into his schedule during his first week of retirement.   Have a great day and great stitching week.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Weekend at the Beach

If you are from the mid-atlantic region, the "shore" is going to the Jersey shore; the "beach" is going to Delaware and in Maryland you go to the "ocean".   Why the difference?   Some say po-TAY-to, some say po-TAH-to and we will leave it at that.

I was lucky enough to be able to sign up for a Betsy Morgan class and held,  of at all places, Salty Yarns in OCMD.   I was happy to arrive early afternoon on Friday at the  Lankford Hotel.   Now if you have been there, you know it is a hundred year old hotel filled with charm, character and antiques.   I had new-to-me room this stay as I was traveling alone.   It was complete with french doors opening to a balcony on the boardwalk and that added whimsy of floors with more slanting that I have every seen.   I think if I parked my luggage with the 360 degree wheels on one side, it would have rolled to the other.  Oh, but it is all part of the charm.

Sara, Sally and Mary and all the staff provided their normal welcoming atmosphere great welcoming cocktail party, great lunch, great goodie bags, and helped make more great memories.   It was good to touch base with old friends over the weekend and to meet some new ones too.

And the ocean out my window.....ahhh.    Have you guessed that I am water person.   Just got to be near the water.  It was Seniors Week so the noise wafting up from the boards did call for earplugs but long about 2 a.m., out they came and I slept listening to the crashing of waves.

But about that project?   Isn't it the absolute best to get that new project kits?   I behaved.....I waited for the teacher to tell us to open them and lead us in inventorying our kits.   Others did not and lost floss and nymo and charms on the floor so there was a bit of a scramble by the misbehavers to find and retrieve items.

 Yesterday, we went from this........

I did a little shopping, some for me, some for a friend's birthday and filled some orders for a couple of my stitching mates.

I also started a new I need to do that but it is a ritual for  me for every visit to Salty Yarns.   This is Jeannette Douglas' bargello pin cushion.  I have done a bit of bargello here and there but not to this extent.   Just started and it is working up fast.   I bought the recommended Lone Elm Shaker lid for assembling it.

For now though, I am putting my class piece and the bargello projects aside.   I am using the incentive to want that I want to work on my new pieces but exercising willpower to complete two  WIP's that I  am so very close to finishing.   Since it is raining cats and dogs again which means no yard work, I hope I will be able to share some finishes next weekend.