Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Early Wrap-up

for 2014.......looking back over the past year like everyone is doing this week, I am pretty much pleased with all things.  Made strides with stitching, sewing, reading (one day I will have to share my episode of my first audio book on my 3 1/2 hour to visit my son - geez!)  closet cleaning, decluttering, home improvements, rekindled a friendship and managed some self improvement!

I have two final finishes for 2014 to share.   How about these for some no calorie cookies?    They are a kit of precut felt pieces from Lumenaris.  My guild did a needle book project from Lumenaris earlier this year so when I saw their booth at a quilt show, I just had to patronize them!

Also, this WIP from 2013.   I thought this would make a nice framed piece to display on a easel at Thanksgiving. When I realized I would not finish it for Thanksgiving last year, I stowed it away in the abyss of unfinished objects.  Not much to do and I guarantee it will be completed BEFORE the stroke of midnight tonight.

I am not making any crazy goals for 2015.  I think sometimes we can set ourselves up for failure by setting unrealistic goals.   For reading, I hope to read one book a month.  For stitching I have three new starts on my list just waiting for needle and thread to pierce the fabric.  I plan a reward of a new start for each WIP's  I finish.  On New Year's Day I will be starting the Lizzie Kate mystery sampler.  I also hope to stitch Rosewood Manor's Barnwood Buttons in 2015.   And I've leave myself open to for a stitch-a-long sampler with my guild.  See my other blog for a preview.  I am not that naive to realize that 'these plans' of mine will change the minute I dig into my stash and find a treasure I have forgotten!  or fall completely for a project I see a friend working on.

Random Thoughts - about half complete not counting the pulled thread border.
I hope to concentrate on my Drawn Thread - Random Thoughts, my Chester County Sampler and my Jeanette Douglas Stitching Treasures as far as my WIP's.  









Realistically I know there will be other bright and sparkling goodies I will see that I will have to do.  There will be stitch-a-longs I will have to participate in.  There will be the occasional smaller piece that will be super rewarding to see started and finished in a week.  And then there is the temptation of a class here or there or the dreaded shopping at a retreat!

Lots left to do with Jeannette Douglas, My Stitching Treasures.

Jeannette uses the most sumptuous fibers, both the feel and the color.

My nemesis.....a Ka-Billion and one eyelets.


I do hope to pare down and better organize my stash.  To stop curtail the impulse buying by taking a moment to step back and ask myself if I buy it will I stitch before my taste changes and I am no longer over the moon about it?  But no rebuking myself if I stray.

Wishing everyone a bright and shiny New Year filled with much health and happiness.   Thank you all for your visits and comments if you leave them.   I do read and am touched by each one but not the best at always replying.  (maybe a resolution is in there somewhere)  Now back to my blanket, tissues, Fishermen's Friend cough drops and the recliner for me as I end the year with the remnants of an annoying head cold!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Exchange

I had to wait until my parcel arrived until I could share these photos.   Since I am such poor planning of time management, I did not get her package in the mail until Monday, which meant Dec. 26th delivery.   

Putting the final stitches in my Christmas Exchange with my Pen Pal.   

Along with an assortment of handy to have needle work items I left my comfort zone and stitched up some things.   My stitching is good enough for me but I never feel like it is good enough to be given as a gift but I took that leap this year. 
 I picked up this pattern at the Mancuso Quilt show this past fall.    I love the 'tape measure' ribbon sewn around the middle.  I stuffed to crushed walnut shells.   I like the feel the crushed shells give to  pin cushions.

 Added some matching pins from JABCO.

 Included Blue Ribbons Designs Stitch Started and stitched up the sleeve to store it.

 A little needle book.




Scissors fob and matching scissors.
(Ack!  Look at that messy work space! and the photo is yellow
since it is from my phone and not my camera)


My present from SW in Connecticut arrived before I sent mine to her off
so I waited until Christmas night to open hers to me since.     I can tell you she spoiled me!



Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas One and All.



Dining Room Tree 



Look close - it is all cookie cutters and kitchen things.

A bit of color to brighten the stairs.


Carried the Green, Gold and Red throughout.



Oops! Forgot to add Santa!

 New, thinner tree this year.

 Prairie Schooler from a consignment store for $3.00


Victoria Sampler Christmas Tree Farm
 

Bright spot by the front door.


More Red, Green and Gold on the bookcase.


Same Green, Red and Gold


A different venue for my Byers Dolls this year.

My new Lefton punchbowl and cups.   Just ready for me and a friend.  (That's Penny America in the tray under the mugs.)

More color in a kitchen corner.



Touches of color.

China closet 'spruced' up.



Top of my Hoosier Cabinet.


Love when all the lamps are out and only the strings of lights are lit.
Boy is it going to be bland when everything comes down.

Merry Christmas to all and a safe, healthy new year.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Ugh!

I have been struggling with how to complete my gratitude jars for the last two weeks.   This is my normal MO.  I get these 'ideas' in my head and have a vision.....but that does not always manage to work its way out of my brain, down my arms, out my fingertips onto my work bench.

The other night I took a half hour to dig through my Stampin' Up stamps and paper to try to gain a foothold.    Viola!  I came across some extras from when I made bags of wildflower seeds as part of the favors for my D-in-L's bridal shower and like a bolt of lighting I had the inspiration I needed.    So glad....I was really getting bummed that this idea of mine might not happen.  But it was not without a detour.  Seems I kind of got into a grand sort out of my 'stuff' for the hour that followed.  (I mean I think it was time to throw out the faded and dog-earred construction paper from when the kid were in school!)

So with the idea and execution firmly my mind, I set aside Friday night to do nothing but craft away in my sewing room.

I am happy with the final result.  I stuffed each one with a supply of papers to write on, added a couple of tags with inspiration  and instructions.  If all goes well I will be able to take them into work on Monday morning for the girls.

Finally managed to finish the holiday decorating.  I just seemed to drag it out this year instead of going full throttle attack and being done in a weekend.  House has been cleaned top to bottom.  Just some grocery shopping, spare bedrooms to be made up, a bit of wrapping to finish up and then I will be done!  And boy does my craft room bear the damage. Snips of paper and ribbon and wrapping supplies and tissue and empty coffee cups and boxes everywhere.  Better get hopping on stowing everything and making the room ready for my Boston girl who is coming home Monday.

I think I will spend the first weekend of the new year with an all out attack on the 'stuff' to sort and cull and arrange in a more sensible way.  Well it will be sensible when I do it but not when I go to look for something in six months!  LOL.......I am glad I can laugh at myself!


Monday, December 8, 2014

So Excited!

What better way to end a day of shopping in Lancaster County with a girlfriend than to come home to a stitching surprise in the mail!!!!    My Lizzie Kate Mystery sampler with pattern, fabric, threads and embellishments arrived today.  Yes,  I know it was released Nov. 1 but my LNS is two states away and I am sure they didn't get it Nov. 1st.  It is not like I have been living in a drought of no available projects.  It's all good.

Don't you just love all the embellishments that come with a kit?

Look at all the WDW!  Wonder if you can spot which one is Busy Lizzie, 
a project exclusive, without looking at the names?
Calling all my willpower!  I am going to need to show some extraordinary restraint to keep me from starting this one!   Need to finish up my Christmas exchange pieces and then do some finishing on some other holiday stitches......then......and only then can I start this.  I am thinking a Christmas afternoon treat to myself.  I have no choice....Part Two could arrive any day!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Busy Busy Times

In between things, I almost have my Christmas stitching complete.   I am stitching up a sleeve for a stitch starter and a making a coordinating pin cushion.    Here is the progress on the stitch starter sleeve.   If you don't have one, check out Blue Ribbon Designs.   Almost all my stitching pals have one.   I thought it would make a nice gift to someone who didn't have one!  It consists of  a 3 inch lucite ruler that you use to find your starting placement on your linen and the sleeve you stitch to store it.  Belinda has create some cute patterns to stitch.

Otherwise.....this is what I have been up to.    I went to Longwood Gardens.   What a nice evening with friends.   Imagine your holiday dinner table decorated and set like this!   These photos from my cell phone definitely don't do the decorations justice.  





 Some photos in the conservatory.    


























Somewhere along the middle of the week, I WON a cruise!    Yes, that's right!!    Actually to be clear, I WON the bid on the cruise.  Every year we assist at a silent auction fundraiser.   We decorate (as much as anyone would need to in the beautiful Hotel DuPont in Wilmington!), set up the auction items, then welcome and register the guests who start arriving at 5 p.m.   Once all are registered we get to walk through the event, eat the fabulous meal and are able to place bids.   No one had bid on the cruise package provided by AAA, so I did.   I received a gift certificate to Royal Caribbean for twice my bid!   My best friend and I will be heading to AAA this week to get the details. I am thinking either a New England/Canadian cruise or the Bahamas for something different.    

I have been working on 'gratitude' jars that I want to give to some special friends as a little something extra over the holidays.    I have it all in my 'head' what I want to do and as is so often, what is in my head is not what manifests when I actually complete the job.   So far, I wrapped mason jars with yarn, spray painted them and then removed the yarn so make the design shown to the left.                                                                                                                I did manage to get my tree up as you can barely see in the background.   I am kind of in a bah humbug mood about decorating. To say I go overboard with decorations may be an exaggeration but I have been known to have as many as three full sized trees up and fully decorated.   I have so may different themed trees and ornaments I could put up a half dozen fully decked out trees on a conservative estimate!   I decorate for myself so maybe choosing to not put up as much is for me too!


Not an original idea....saw this on Pinterest....but at home one night I made tissue paper snowflakes and taped them to the sliding glass door in my boss's office to make a holiday decoration.   Good thing I had the foresight to place a cookie sheet on the floor as I sat on the sofa and made all the snowflakes.   It actually doesn't look too bad in person and again is a cell phone pix.

I went to New York City to check out the city lights and the tree at Rockefeller Center.  I never made it back to the tree to take a photo once the lights were on.   I took the Rockefeller Center Tour and did the Observation Desk at the top.....70th floor!   That's saying something for someone who lives in a town where three story buildings are about as high as they get!  Too bad the weather was rotten....not much of a view but the tour of the complex was very interesting.
View from the top of Rockefeller Center.    Couldn't see Central Park or the river just blocks away.   But hey!  A little bad weather doesn't stop me.  The two spires at the bottom left of center are the top of St. Patrick's Cathedral.
Inside St. Patrick's
This photo and the one below were taken on a previous trip to NYC.


Tree in Bryant Park
We walked and walked and walked some more.   Had a great lunch in the concourse and shopped out of the weather.  Walked some more.   Went to Bryant Park.   Had a nice dinner.   Walked through Times Square and we were really glad to get back on the bus and out of the rain!  It was a jungle of umbrellas!
Times Square
Queued up waiting on our bus.  Goodbye New York
....a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there!



Hopefully I will be able to finish up my Christmas stitching this week and get it all wrapped up.   More pix to come once finished.   Have a great weekend everyone and may your stitches be plentiful!