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.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

All Over the Place

Yes, that's me.   Project jumping yet again.   As if I don't have enough irons in the fire (i.e. that wallpaper removal project I got myself into.....) I started another major overhaul.  This one is a LARGE flower bed.    Over the years the ground cover has just expanded and expanded.....the look I thought I liked I have now grown (ha ha) tired of.   I want the clean lines of shrubs and mulch....neat, crisp, clean.   When I am done, this side will better match the other landscaping I have in the front yard.

Look how far PAST the bed edging the ground cover had grown.
I have only managed a few hours here and there after work.  And all the rain we have had has not helped.   I think if I had 3 more pairs of hands and some rain free evenings, I could get this done more quickly.  Well at least this just lets me work outside in the garden which is always so nourishing for the soul.   I haven't make quite the width of the bed to the property line but slow and steady wins the race.
This is will be ALL summer job!
This year's goal will be to go as far as the large Abelia bush.......I think it is doable (as do all my undertakings when I launch them!)

Yesterday I meet with friends to work on a finishing project.    We all have stitched Pining to Stitch and finishing is so much more productive with a group.   Not to mention it helps conquer that fear factor we all have.
After putting in all those button hole bars on the scissors got it, I decide I'd rather have cording.
 Not to difficult to remove them. Messy with bits of threads everywhere.
At this point, I am almost satisfied to just leave it with no trim.

I have all the pieces of the set stitched.  I have finished the biscournu, the scissors fob, 90 percent done the scissors haven.....that leaves me the needle book, pin keep and the envelope pouch that will hold all the pieces to finish.   We are expecting torrential rain starting tonight so I am hopeful to  make some progress tomorrow.  

Last weekend I pulled out a UFO.   This is Lizzie Kate's "Things Unseen Mystery Sampler".   Here is where I was last week.    I am sure there was another project that just had to be started and had me move this to the UFO basket.

And this morning.      I've turned the corner.   Some border, some wording, a couple of motifs, buttons and beads and I will be done!  My goal is to complete this by my next guild meeting in two weeks.  No pressure.....especially since yard word has me falling asleep not much after I finally sit in my stitching chair in the evening.

And let me jump back outside again, we are re-doing our back deck replacing the wood with Trex decking.   We did the same out front a few years ago.  Yeah for more powering washing, scrubbing, and restaining every other year.  However, we are at a standstill......contractor had gotten ill and we are not finished.   No worries for picnic plans for us this weekend.  The decking is done so I can pull up a chair and sip a cuppa and stitch or read with no problem.  I don't need railings to enjoy the outdoors and am actually enjoying the unobstructed view.   It is just another slow and steady project.  Give me lemons and I will make lemonade.

 Colors along my side walk are so much prettier in real life.
 My morning cup of coffee view.......
This is the vision I have for the project I am working on.

And of course, I can't post without a pix of Will.   I can't believe he is four weeks old already!    
He looks all relaxed after his bath taking over daddy's side of the bed.  

OK, time to head out and get my veggies planted before the rain starts.....

Wishing all a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend.   Enjoy your parades, your picnics and take a moment to remember your service men and women.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

May Guild Project

At my May DVHSG Meeting one of our members bagged up beads and wires and scissors and gave us a tutorial on a beaded scissors fob.   The sheath 'snaps' on the point of the scissors.   So nice for carrying about and not fear a puncture into your project!

Like I needed another pair of scissors or two.   

And after 14 days of raining, clouding damp days,  I just had to stop and take a picture of the world on my way home from grocery shopping.  

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Mother's Day and More

I had a great Mother's Day spending it with No. 1 daughter at her home.   It started with flowers from her.  Her husband made us a delicious brunch and then she and I crafted all day.   A friend of her's joined us....missing her kiddos, ages 6 and 3, because her husband took them camping for the weekend.   Wow, where were dad's like 35 years ago?   At any rate, we laugh and enjoyed the day together.

This is what I accomplished on Sunday.  At my d-in-l's baby shower, my daughter had guests color pre-cut blocks with baby themes.   She pieced them together for a baby quilt top.   I quilted them up quickly with the help of a new trick my daughter taught me....spray basting.   Life changing product!

I love the little personalized blocks and love the backing fabric she choose.   Her idea really came together.   I washed and dried and packed it up to delivery in person.

Monday morning I was on the road heading west to visit the baby.   I did gramma duty at my son's.  I have been chauffeuring for lacrosse practice,  grocery getting, dinner cooking and laundry doing.    Somewhere I even had some baby time.  I got my craft on while my Little Mr. Wonderful slept.    I quilted this for him.   I had the front and backs already pieced.  Spray basting made this EZ PZ to put together.

Will all snuggled down under the blanket Aunt Amy knitted.

I made progress on my knitted baby blanket.   (oops! too busy with baby pix to snap a photo of the baby blanket)

Stitched my name on my sweatshirt for work - it gets so cold in the office some days - we all went to the uniform clerk and got zip up hoodies.

And last but not least, one of my favorite pix, father and son taking a nap.

Heading home in the morning and knowing I will be missing Little Man.