Sunday, August 30, 2015

Summer is coming to an end

August is wrapping up with high temperatures and humidity.  I have been making the circuit around the yard to spruce up the flower beds.   Wheelbarrows full of crab grass and out of control ground cover.  I actually could weed for hours (and do!).  Weeding or any gardening is so meditative to me.  No worries, no stress, just thinking about the next weed to pull or the next spade of dirt you will turn over.  I have replanted my vegetable garden with radishes, collard greens, arugula and lettuce.   Since I am a novice at vegetable gardening, it could go either way.  Hopefully, mid-September I will be again harvesting fresh lettuce.  Today I will be back at it deadheading the coreopsis and coneflowers, crushing the flower heads to release the seeds in the land behind me.  One can always hope that some will make an appearance next spring.

I have put stitching on my one guild SAL  aside while I do pre-work for a class in October.   I did prep my linen by basting it for the smalls for an EGA SAL which will start in September.   It is called Pining to Stitch and is a design from Denise Harrington Pratt of the New England Region EGA.  The project consists of a needlework, pin keep, biscournu, scissors fob, scissors sheath and tool pocket.

What makes the pine cone look so real is the dimension the buttonhole stitches add.   By the time I finish this set of smalls I will be an expert at the detached buttonhole stitch or I will decide I never ever want to use that stitch again!

I have picked up some different pine cone fabrics for the back and sewing pocket but of course I need to go to the quilt show mid September to check out the fat quarters for perhaps a more perfect pine cone fabric.  I really don't need much encouragement to attend this annual show.

Now to share that I am getting a bit freaked out here.  I crossed a second thing off my bucket list.   That makes two things in one week!  I wrote the list years ago and in all that time nothing was crossed off and now two in one week.    This second one was to sit with a Medium.   Freaky I know and not something that everyone believes in.  This woman told me things so inconsequential about my mom and her possessions that there is no way, no matter how much internet research she did about me prior, she could have ever know.  The simple description of a decorative tin that was my mother's that is in my house and the contents of that tin!  Freaky.  I felt good afterwards because of the reassurance my mom was fine and pride she said my mom had for me.  Thankfully the friend I went with recorded it and when I replayed it there were other small things that were spot on that I missed.

Coming up for September I am going to Bermuda and I am watching the hurricane predictions!  So far, look like nothing is heading that way.  I have never been and I have plans to go helmet diving and swim in caves.  Of course there will be some reading and stitching while I relax on the deck while enjoying the drink of the day.  I am so lucky to have a coworker who is my travel companion.  Work has been stressful for both of us and it will be another great girls week.

So off to the yard for me......I have plans to wrap everything up early this afternoon so I can enjoy a swim and some stitching pool side.  

Stitch well my friends.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Stitch from Stash August Re-cap

Not a whole lot of progress to report.

Stitch from Stash Recap

July carry forward - $33
August allotment -  $25
Credit for finishing - 54 x 54 stitches - $4
(Squarelogy Pin Cushion)
New balance - $62

Got to get stitching and finishing to grow that balance!  I hope to have completed a
pre-stitch for an October class to earn some $$$ next month.   Maybe I should focus
on some close-to-finished WIP's to build that bank before I am off to Jamboree in
October.   That weekend will surely extinguish my Stitch from Stash budget!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Catching up for August

Whew, where did August go?    Somewhere in the last couple of weeks the gardens have gone from manicured to infiltrated with crab grass.     I admit to working on other things in and around the house and yard due to heat and the pool calling me but it seems as if it were in the blink of an eye.   I have my work cut out for the evenings in the coming week.

Work has taken a new twist.   A problem employee is gone but that means a couple of us are taking on the work as well as being subject to the scrutiny that we are the cause if the girl's departure.   Trust me, like I would do something to INCREASE my workload?  So it is a different kind of tired that finds me when I get home.   The workday is over before I know it and it is a good tired.  This kind of thing has its ebb and flow and with some the people taking sides and their concerns will just dissolve into the woodwork or they will be worried about someone else before long.  So it goes.....

On the fun side, I crossed something off my bucket list.   First I've got to tell you, I am a simple, south Jersey farm-country girl, so no laughing.   I always wanted to ride in a limo and go somewhere nice.   Back in May before leaving for San Diego I was helping my boss clean his desk.   He came across a gift certificate from a fundraiser for a limo ride.   He said, here, some have fun with this.  There were 10 of us but in the last week, three dropped out.   So seven of us were picked up by the limo and were whisked off to Philadelphia for a fabulous dinner on the Moshulu.   The Moshulu is a tall ship building in 1904 that has been refitted as an upscale restaurant and night spot at Penns Landing in Philadelphia.  It was a really fun night with laughs and giggles, great food and friends.   Want to laugh, imagine a car-full of loopy women doing the Na Na and literally rocking the limo as we finished up our pre-dinner drinks in the parking lot.  It was a really relaxing evening.  My cell phone photos of the riverfront and the city at night didn't really turn out too good.  It was just so pretty and a beautiful evening to sit on the upper deck after dinner and we were wrapped in the warm breeze of a pretty summer evening.  Check!

I got my pre-work for the Stitching Jamboree at Salty Yarns in October.   I am so excited to be going. It means I will miss the fall retreat with my guild at Salty Yarns the week before only because of vacation and $$.  I am excited about the project and spending time with some new stitching friends.  I can't share a photo of the project but I can share the linen and floss colors.   Aren't they rich and pretty?   I hope to start this today or tomorrow and then not unveil the work until after the Jamboree.

Always a treat to get the Halloween Issue of Just Cross Stitch!

As for stitching, I managed to finish four more rows and started band 14.   Bands 14 and 15 are due for our September meeting..... I have a reprieve since I will be in Bermuda for a week and not make the September meeting but I hope to still push on so I can keep current.  I really want to finish this up ahead of schedule because I have another EGA stitch-a-long much to stitch and so little time.

And then there is Buddy Cat.   I haven't seen him on table tops or counter tops before but I have evidence he likes to sleep on my new tablecloth.   I thought I would get tricky and put painter's tape sticky side up to deter him.  Seems I am the only one it gets stuck to.  Either my iPad flops down when I am eating and reading and sticks to it or I brush against it as I am walking out in the morning and I become stuck to it.   I thought it was such  good idea to keep him off the table but I think he has outsmarted me again.  Oh well, I've always known you don't own a cat, a cat owns you!

Happy stitching all.......keep your needles threaded and you scissors sharp!  Stitch on.

Monday, August 10, 2015

OK, so let me catch up

Whew!   Mr. W. made it home yesterday about 5 p.m. after 8 weeks on the road and I slept on the couch last night!   I didn't start out there but I need to get used to his talking in his sleep and his tossing and turning again and not to mention it is like being in bed with a hot potato!   All summer, I got up and made a bed which actually look like no one slept in it.   This morning before making the bed it looked like a hand grenade went off in it.   Sheet and blanket pulled out and scrunched up the bottom and the bedspread in a big ball.   I think I got the better night's sleep on the couch.....slept all the way until the alarm went off.  Anyway, so it goes.

Here's my latest finish to share.  
The small wooden spool was to be used in the center but I am happy with using the buttons I pulled from my stash.

This is my first attempt at a mattress style finish and I like it.   It has some weight to it as it is filled with crushed walnut heels.

With the pin cushion is done, I am back on my guild SAL.   I have two sections to complete before our September meeting to be back on track.   I can do it!  I need to step it up and get ahead of schedule as I am waiting for pre-stitching for an October class to arrive.   Surely when it does, the SAL will take a bake seat.   All and all I am happy with myself that I am keeping up much better than in the past with SAL's.

And naturally I started another small project  - all from stash of course.   A girl needs a take along project doesn't she?  Both my SAL and my Rosewood Manor pieces are on scroll frames and stands so they are not the easiest to take along to stitching night.    

Threadworm Primitives, Beggar's 4th.  That really is the recommended blue stitched on the linen.

I managed to get everything back on the walls in my dining room before Mr. W. got home.   Geez, he commented on the shutters in the upstairs windows that they were painted a different color.....duh! no, we had no shutters on the upstairs windows when you left.  I had them installed while you were away. Oh, he says, but they don't match the other shutters.   Oh Mr. W.  how did you manage logistics for 200+ people,  driving 9,000 miles in 8 weeks?   All the shutters new and old were painted to match as well as the front door.   I decorate for myself as he is not one that notices things.

Got my new shelf up.   I think I am liking the display of family photos on the desktop rather than on the wall.   Besides I just can't bring myself to put half a hundred holes in my freshly patched and painted walls.

 An excuse to shop consignments stores.....look for more ironstone platters.  Well that sums is up for me.....many your stitches be many and your counting be true!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Dog Days of Summer

Well it certainly has been stuffy and sticky around these parts.   Most nights find me in the pool reading or with some easy listening music on.   Rough life.

I can say I am happy to have my dining room back in order.  A bit of round and around with the contractor who admitted he would rather deal with my husband instead of me!   Probably BS but I liked it anyway.   It could have been that comment I made to him that he'd better sharpen his pencil or I'd get someone else!  I need to put up all the artwork but think I might pare it down a bit.  Funny when everything comes down off the walls and the room is empty, I am liking the less is more look.  I need to wait until my daughter can be my partner in crime to put things back.......unless I run out of patience and just charge ahead....which is probably the more likely scenario.

I knew I wanted a new shelf I had seen in Lancaster last fall so I took my iPad, downloaded an audio book and hopped in the car with a big cup of coffee yesterday morning.  I hit some favorite stores and missed some favorite stores but I was on a mission.  Intercourse, Bird In Hand, and Paradise, PA were crowded.  I realized my normal visits to Lancaster County are usually when a friend and I take a vacation day and go midweek.  Danged touristy types in my way just window shopping.    I think the black goes well with the black chair backs and the wrought iron pieces I have.

I bought this homespun table cloth but I am still debating it I should keep it.  It is actually two the same size with one folded as a runner.  They had a red one on display which I really like but I opted for the neutral tones.  I have 30 days to return them. Oh drat, another trip to Lancaster.   I guess I can suffer through.  Next trip I will go midweek and take a girlfriend.
I did manage a finish  or at least I plan to complete the stitching by day's end.   This is Hands on Design Square-ology.  It was in our goodie bag from my guild's spring retreat at Salty Yarns.  I hope to finish it as a mattress style pin cushion this week.  And then I need to get back to my two big projects that must have cobwebs on them due to how long I have let them sit! Oh and there is of course the Lizzie Kate Mystery Sampler which should be a mystery to everyone as to why I am so close to finishing but have not!

I just have the urge to stitch a ring on the ring finger.   I will try to refrain.  

Other than that I have been suffering through the heat along with everyone else.  There is a lot of BS going on at work that just brings a person down.  This past week was particularly bad resulting in sipping some adult beverages several nights in a row.  It did use a glass and didn't drink right from the bottle so that shows some restraint.  It kind of spurred me to visit my financial advisor and set the retirement date.  Good news, I can go now....but if I hang in another 3 years, that SS amount will be that much better... I set the date as 35 months.  I am making a daisy change to take to work with 34 loops to cut one off each month and then another 30 for each day of my last month.  I will display it proudly.  What a great feeling to not HAVE to work.   If it gets too bad, I can just give my notice.....or not! and be done.   I continue to work because I want to not because I have too.  It feels good to know that you have done the right things financially to set yourself up to be in a good place.  
Today's agenda, meet a friend for breakfast, prep and take some stitched pieces to the county fair which will be a first and could be the last time I do it.  I hope the critiques give suggestions on how to improve.  I can't drop them off until 2 p.m. which is kind of messing me up.   I don't want to be up to my elbows in yard work all sweaty and dirty to have to stop to go fair.   So I think I will pull out the sewing machine and sit on the deck and piece a quilt top I am working on.   I can pick right up when I get back from the fair and if I get hot I will just have to jump in the pool and cool off.   Yard work can wait until later in the week.

Have a great week all, keep on being crafty and stay cool.