Sunday, March 31, 2013

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Springtime......is coming


Poor Daffodils.
Don't know what happened to spring time! This is what greeted me Monday morning.  I guess I will just continue to surround myself with silk flowers in and around the house.    Despite the weather, I did manage to have a great week.  I finished reading the Girl with the Pearl Earring.  Loved it.   It was a quick read and I will probably read other books by Tracy Chevalier.  I made a difference in life of a sick friend.   I ended the week with a smaller pile of jobs at work that I started the week with.  I started work on finishing a project.  And got notified by the IRS that we received the status memo in error!  I take all victories, larger or small, and enjoy them.



My own bit of springtime








Two stitching buddies and I set out this week to finish O'Tannebaum which we each stitched earlier this year. I am not sure if we were the Three Stoogies or the 3 Musketeers/one for all and all for one  with our attempt to finish. But misery loves company when you are afraid to jump in and start the task.  This is all I am showing you for now.   He is assembled and partly stuffed.   Carol's husband is retired home builder/contractor and he is cutting us wooden bases for the bottom.   Funny thing I heard on GMA just this morning, that 71% of woman prefer a man who wears a tool-belt or is a DIY type guy.   I agree and am thrilled Paul is cutting bases for us.  I am also happy we will each have this completed before we go back to OCMD on retreat at the end of April and we can share them there. show them off there to the shop owner where we bought the kits.   Diane from TN will have to send hers up for us to do the machine part of the finish.

I spent yesterday with my sister and we laughed and giggle until we had tears and our sides hurt.   We alway get silly when we are together.   Our husbands just shake their heads and don't get it but that certainly doesn't stop us.   We each did some hand sewing, sharing of project status and then did a little junking after lunch.    I picked up a couple or three goodies.


I picked up this little sherbet cup for a dollar and had an idea in mind.  


Before

After...I know I have a little glass dish around somewhere.....must
be under a plant somewhere. I need to find it and replace
the white one with the glass plate.


I love this little basket and even though I don't need it, I just couldn't leave with out it.   I felt it was one of those items that I would regret it later if I didn't purchase it.  I'll have to get some easter grass and some eggs in it later today.


 And then I got this little guy.   Isn't he cute?   Yeh, I know, I am supposed to be downsizing and decluttering.
 I just love a three day weekend!  So great to have time to be run errands, do some creative things as well as housework and shopping with that third day off.

Hoppy Easter everything and my best in stitches to all of you in the coming week.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Tackling some loose ends

A couple weekends ago I helped my daughter do a grand sort out of her craft room.   Before we were done I was admonishing her because once we were done sorting all her fabric almost  every box or bag or container we opened we found more fat quarters of fabric.   Well, let me tell you, those words taste good!    I sorted and organized ALL my fabric too recently but yet each I have worked in my craft room since then, you got it, I have found another stash of a few fat quarters.   Like mother, like daughter I guess.


On Sunday I was feeling like doing nothing but yet didn't want to sit and stitch all day and just increase the size of my backside so I retreated to my craft room and I cut my 1930's retro fabrics.   Remember my little basket was full?  
Not anymore.  I am ready to go here.   I have 10 squares completed and estimate I need 20 more for the quilt top.   Should be a breeze now that everything is cut in 2 inch strips.  I need to get myself into a schedule each morning because heaven knows I wake up early enough.   I took a quilting class a few
years back and the teacher told us if we set up what we want to work on next at the end of each sewing session you will be amazed at how much you can accomplish in a half hour.  I am going to challenge myself to a half hour at the machine and a half hour on the treadmill before having that second cup of coffee and stitching before work.   My sister and I are planning a sewing day on Friday so maybe I will have more progress to show.    I really need to get this quilt top completed.   I showed my sister this technique at the same time I started this and she has finished a strip quilt like this and probably 3 or 4 others too!  I better put in the fast key!













One thing I also did on Sunday was to divide all my finishes into two piles - to be framed or to be finished otherwise.   I matched up each piece that I don't plan to frame with fabric.   I am not sure if I will make standups, or pillows or what but I am one step closer to getting these out of the to-do basket.  Please don't mind the wrinkles.  I just grabbed them out of my finished basket and didn't stop to press them.







I think I am happy with my match ups.   Three day weekend coming up so maybe I will make some headway.  Happy stitching all!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Springtime and new starts and re-dos

Remember that 18 months of IRS BS with my non-profit.....seems the Cincinnati IRS Office doesn't communicate with the Lexington IRS Office.   Cincinnati tells me I am re-instated retroactive to the end of status date with no lapse in 501c3 status.....Lexington Office however wants to DING me and make me persona non gratis for not responding to any of "their" attempts for me to complete paperwork!  What attempts?  ARGH!!! But enough, I have the letters from Cincinnati that I will forward to Lexington and do their work for them to update their files! Just another irritating speed bump in the life of volunteer work......just another bump closer to pulling up all my stakes in the land of volunteerism.   But enough....


I have frogged a bit......I used the recommended floss for the modified eyelet trees but against the blue linen the trees were invisible.   Crazy to do all those pretty stitches and not be able to see them.  They are hard to see except where they are outlined by the snow.  I deviated and used a different floss from the package.  The floss on the left is what I used to replace the suggested floss on the right.  I was hesitant thinking how could I question the visionary eye of Victoria Sampler but a friend put me in line, it's my piece and I should do it to please me!   What a concept!



Here is the overall progress to date.   I think I am ahead of schedule on my self-imposed deadline of April 30th even though I haven't stitched on it too much this week.   Work and the possibility of another kidney stone are getting in my way.  It's been a couple of years since the last kidney stone but I feel like I am experiencing the same discomfort I did early on last time.  And this too shall pass...sorry, I just couldn't resist.






I started a new project.   It is on my NBS EGA Challenge list and before I get into big trouble from straying from the one project at a time method.....this is my carry along project.   Scroll bars are not that easy to carry to and from work, so a started Icelandic Christmas Sewing Set.  I started my work on the smalls.   The pattern called for the beautiful red silk floss but I ventured out of the box and choose this blue from WDW.   I liken the blue to icy cold and snowflakes.   I have seen it completed in the red and it is beautiful so I hope I am not making a mistake.



Spring is here on the calendar but they are calling for snow tonight!  I have the spring flowers out in the house to brighten up things.  Even my bears are dressed for spring and awaiting the easter bunny.



The best kind of easter egg......no calories.....it is ceramic.   I picked up this and another one at a recent junk shopping trip.  
















I am itching to get outside and start putzing in the yard.   So much so that I cut a bunch of babies off my spider plant to start rooting them.   This guy hangs in the house by winter and on the deck by summer.  It and my ferns really thrive all summer in the humidity.






Yesterday I went on a bus trip to Alexandria VA to the Annual Woodlawn Exhibit.   We had a slow start with the bus delayed an hour and a half in construction traffic while we waited at our pick up spot on the DE Turnpike but it is all good.  Friends and chatter and Carol's great strawberry muffins helped make the wait pass.   Sorry no pix from inside Woodlawn because it is prohited.   It is a lovely day and so inpsiring to see the variety and quality of the workmanship.   We all enjoyed the day, the luncheon by Nelly's Needlers and the door prizes on the bus. We all came home inspired and wanting to stitch.  The annual show is the entire month of March.   A must stop if you are in the area.

So excited, one of my orchid is still blooming.   They seem to really thrive on neglect.  You wait all year for that four to six weeks of bloom time.   Yeah!  Now I just need to get the other 6 to show some flowers.

While I was cruising the I95 corridor past the Washington Monument, Mr. W. was home meeting with my landscape guy with my drawing and list.    See this sidewalk to nowhere?  Soon it will be gone.   The former owner of my house had his insurance office in what once was the back bedroom with this separate entrance.   Well 31 years later, a house reno or two and now this door would, if it could, open into my walk-in closet in my bedroom.  It is time for the sidewalk to go and although I enjoy doing the majority of my own yard work, I know went to admit something is more than I can handle.   Heck, the landscaper can come in with his bobcat and make quick work of removing the sidewalk.  I can't wait to see his plan and hope he can plant the trees and shrubs I picked out.  


This week brings my IRS paperwork follow up, some website maintenance, a special stitching night to do some finishing work with friends and a day of stitching up some quilt blocks with my sister on Friday.  OK, that's all I got!  Hope you all have a great week and thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Shopping and Sorting

After my day trip with my sister and our subsequent visit to my craft room.....(I know by her silence that she was rolling her eyes at me for all my stash)......so I plowed through with finishing up the fabric sorting yesterday.    I know we all say creative people are not tidy but it sure is nice to work in a neat and orderly craft room.   That and the fact that we often 'forget' what we have so it is nice to window shop while in the comfort of your own home.  I did manage to accumulate one xerox box for Goodwill, one box of goodies to ship to North Carolina with Diane for her guild, and two bags of trash.   I mean really.....why do we keep some of this stuff.......5 and 6 copies of the same pattern, 5 or 6 copies of meeting minutes, handouts from 4 years ago, scraps the size of a postage stamp, well not exactly that small.....

Fabric finished, not too bad.......sorted by color which was not an exact science.  See my post from yesterday to see what I started with at the beginning of the day...


All stowed away with room to spare.
This view doesn't look like there is any room to spare....


 ....but the top is now clear and ready and welcoming.

More specialty fabrics stored above - civil war fabrics 

 and then Halloween fabrics.




A little buddy while I work.










At the quilt show, my sister found this vintage square with my name on it.   I think I might frame it.  The woman at the booth told us some other women scolded her for cutting apart the antique quilt but she said it was in such bad shape that she felt cut it apart or trash the whole thing.  I am glad she cut it apart. As far as the initials O. W.   I think we can substitute Otherwise Whacky better than Old and Weird.


I picked up this little Christmas Tree at a store in Intercourse, PA.   OMGosh, my sister and I are always saying..."we could make that"....so I bought it to use as a pattern.   It is just 6 yo-yo's stuffed and on a dowel.  And now that all my Christmas fabrics is neat and together all I need is some spare time!  



Ok, can you tell I finished up all four seasons of Sons of Anarchy?   Got some free time to post now that I have pulled myself away from the TV.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

I fell off the treadmill

Not literally but in the same way people say they fell off the wagon!    I have never been mistaken for my athletic prowess so it is not that far-fetched for me to have literally fallen.    Just like Rudolph I was never asked to join the Reindeer games but I digress.

I was diligent at my latest attempt at fitness.  In the past I would get frustrated with no progress and quit after three weeks.  I also never wholeheartedly did the two prong approach.  It was either portion control and watching what I ate or it was exercise;  this time it was both.   This time I really stuck to it.  10 to 11 weeks later I had lost 0.02 lbs. and given that we women usually fluctuated 2 to 4 pounds in any given day I think I could have actually gained weight.  None of the BS about about muscle weighing more than fat satisfied me so I fell off my treadmill routine.   Funny thing, the first week AFTER stopping, I lost six punds.  I guess I am just destined to be a Rubenesque in my body type.

No treadmill means less reading......so I guess I will hop back on and be happy with the cardio, blood pressure and cholesterol benefits even if there are no benefits shown on the scale.

But enough already,  here's what little stitching-related I have been up to.  I had the foolish thought that work would lighten up after deadlines came and were met......funny ha ha....so very little needle and thread progress is being put down.

This is my Candy Corn finish finished.   It is a bit lumpy but practice makes perfect on these kinds of things.




I saw this pattern a few years back at a quilt show and it was one of those regrets immediately when I didn't purchase it.   At the time I didn't take notice of the name or designer so I was happy to find this recently in a local quilt shop.  It is called Zelda's Witch Hat and it is life-sized when finished.  It takes 9 fat quarters of various blacks which I picked up this week on a side trip to Lancaster County.  This appeals to my sewing side and my stitching side with the crazy quilt embellishing.
Of course a few new fat quarters after shopping with my sister lead me to showing her some recent purchases in my craft room which lead to me needing to do a sort of all my fabrics.  You know we keep every scrap and bit of ribbon or trim for someday  and she helped me with my hoarding of bits and pieces the error of my ways and I started yet another sort out this morning. 


I have kind of divided by color and need to subdivide more.   It became obvious real quick  that everyone folds fat quarters differently.

I pulled my 'collections' and kept them together.   A fave of mine, Aunt Grace and 1930's Retro fabrics.  Wrapped in the ribbon are strips I have already cut for a strip quilt I am working on.





Then there are these which I know are just perfect for some sort of stitching purse or bag and I think I have just the pattern.

 It is fun to 'shop' in your own stash and find gems you forgot you bought.  What better way to spend a misty damp afternoon.