Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Leaves Me Happy.

It is really all about the punctuation.    LEAVES!  Me happy!   I finished the row of Assisi including the 38 upper and lower leaves.   ( and yes, one day I will go and complete the first row I left undone....)  The leaves really weren't that terrible but did take up stitching time.  Time to roll those scroll bars forward and onto a row of blackwork.  I surely won't complete the blackwork before by October 1st when the row AFTER the blackwork is to start but no worries, I am still moving forward! I got done what I wanted before leaving for the shore.

Not much stitching expected to be done with at the shore.  My co-worker is a NON-stitcher.  I still marvel at how can that be?   Corsica River may be too much for my faint of heart travel buddy.  But my fellow stitchers, you know we don't travel without a project of some kind.

A much needed trip to the shore for both my co-worker and myself did not disappoint.    After a bit of cleaning of sheds and the attic as the first part of my vacation, I headed for five days in Cape May.  But not before I threw in the towel on cleaning ALL the closets and ALL the attic and ALL the shed and ALL the garage.   No, wasn't going to happen.  Sometimes my brain just does not understand the limits of time and my body!  And why set myself up for failure?   I narrowed my task list and managed to get closets, drawers, attic cubby sorted, cleaned, decluttered in one room and marked it as a success.  
Instead, I headed to my sewing room.   I bought this tote bag kit at a recent quilt show and decided I was going to do something for myself.   While I love my current stitching bag, it is nice to have options.   It took me three afternoons and was not without the use of a seam ripper but I am very happy with the outcome.   I did have a bit of a problem involving four broken needles trying to stitch the bottom.   I expect to see a quilter friend at a retreat in a couple of weeks and maybe she can offer a suggestion on how to better handle all those thicknesses at the bottom.
 I added a lanyard sewn into the seam for attaching scissors.....so I always have a pair of scissors with me.
 Packed and ready for stitching night

But back to my shore trip......If I was traveling with my daughters, the sewing machine would be one piece of luggage.   Not so with Deb.   Let's not push the crafting side of me on her too much.    I decided on small projects as to not overwhelm.

I took my Longaberger Apple Basket and finally did the backstitch outline.  Check!  Mark this one off the old WIP list.  I was debating about the adding the backstitch but am so glad I did.   It really makes the basket weave POP.  I am still unsure how I will finish it.   But I should get hopping since it is apple season!

I made progress on My Stitcher's Heart pincushion.  Funny story about this.  As I said, we Stitchers always take a project along.
Just so happens when we were out for a bit of sightseeing heading up the coast, Deb gets a call from work, she’s in our IT department.  They were taking the all our systems down due to some electrical work and she needed to log in and handle rerouting the phones for all our offices, activating the call service, etc.,  She had brought her laptop and mifi card along in anticipation work may need her.  I grabbed my stitching and just had at it in the parking lot of the Tuckahoe Inn under the shade of a tree.   I stitched for an hour and a half while she did her magic.

I also got my prestitch for a November class with Cathy Habermann of Hands On Designs.  Good time to start the work.  Don't ask me what it is going to be when it grows up......won't know to our finishing class in November.

And I also managed to work on my stump work project we are doing with my EGA.   This piece is from the December 2016 NeedleArts Magazine.   I have never done stump work so this is a good piece to learn on.    I completed the stem stitch for the stems and the fly stitch for the leaves.   And then I covered the beads to make the berries to be added later.    Assignment done until next month.

It was good to tie up the loose ends on one and make progress on others.  The time in Cape May was well worth it.  Great meals out, shopping, trolley tour of Victorian houses and evenings with a glass of wine and good friend were what I needed to recharge my drained batteries.

We headed to Sunset Beach last night to watch the sunset.....clouds rolled in but it didn't matter.   It was girlfriend time.  

Until next time, keep on stitching......

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Trudging Along

Seems I am devoted almost exclusively to Corsica River.. While it is not a bad thing and has not gotten on my nerves yet it is leaving little time for anything else.

I can really see me getting this row completed by my self-imposed deadline of September 21.   I will still be behind the curve but progress will have been made and a goal met.

I am picking up  "My Stitchers Heart" once a week and am making slow progress here.   I hope to carve out a Saturday in the next 6 weeks where I can paint and finish the box.   I really really want to take it to Cape May in November for my class with the designer and have her sign the bottom!

And some mornings, when I don't feel like I have enough time or maybe don't want to wrestle with Corsica River and the 36-inch scroll frame, I am putting in a foot or so of stitches on my quilt binding.   I have hand stitched one side so far.  One down and three to go!

I did just finish reading Beneath the Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan.  I highly recommend this true story set in Italy during World War II.   Without giving anything away, I had to keep reminding myself it was a true story and that the central character was only 17.   Amazing account and a fast read.

So you see, not much progress to show on any one thing but bits and pieces on several fronts.   Typical of me, jack of all, master of none!

Thanks for the fun comments from everyone on the Gnome/Fairie Garden.

Wishing all my friends in Florida to be safe in the wake of Hurricane Irma.  Sending prayers.

Monday, September 4, 2017

It's Time

....... I have been touting my 'secret garden project' over this past summer with a promise of a reveal.   And I may regret this but......those who already think I've lost my mind, I am giving them their needed evidence.

So back in May I went to the Wilmington Garden Day Tour.  It is an annual tour of homes and gardens that I attend most years with my daughter.   I originally attended with my mother years ago so it is always a special day.   Much inspiration is gained and many oh's and ah's can be heard.

At one home that was absolutely incredible from its setting to the inside was only to be second in beauty by their gardens.

From their orchid room
The view from their dining room.

It went on and on.   There was not a bad view to be had.

And then I came upon this.......everyone was saying they needed to do this in their backyard.....and I thought, hmmm, I have a trouble spot.......and so it began this twisting and turning in my head.....
(I apologize for the blurry spot.....didn't see the smudge on the lens until l downloaded the photos.)
An idea took shape that I would create a Fairy/Gnome Garden in my backyard.    Yes, I know, who needs more yard work?  Well, I am to a point that I only have to pull an occasional weed and dead head flowers along the way so.....THIS is my permission to play in the dirt.

A few years back a strong storm took down the 75-80 oak tree and it changed my back yard.   The arbor that lead to the path and the path were both totally destroyed.  The tree, technically not on my property actually is about 25 feet off the property line.   But it is part of my back yard by virtue of me clearing the underbrush, planting seed and maintaining for the last 35 years.   (The property is a landlocked section of woods 150 feet deep)  This is what I had to start with.

This is where I have thrown seeds for years only to have only a few come up.  I've thrown a hosta or two, daffodil and iris bulbs, and similar.  To get started, I spent a couple of nights a week putting in about an hours worth of work.  For those of you who don't garden, it is so much like needlework in the sense that you have no worries, no stress, no demands just pull the next weed and have the reward of seeing the completed project after all your efforts.

Above, sometime early on in the summer.   I started this project Memorial Day Weekend so it is only fitting to share is Labor Day Weekend.

I shopped my closets, and shopped consignment stores.   I really didn't spend more than $50.  

I put in pickets from a now defunct vegetable garden fence.
I strung two strings of solar lights. Two strings at $4.99 each

As I looked around recently, I discovered I gravitated to things my family is interested in.

My daughter has a travel trailer and there she is with her fire pit.  My daughter has plans to do a similar garden treatment around the tongue (trailer hitch) of her trailer as it is permanent on the site.   I will have to share pix if she does!

I've got a Penn State Gnome and a Billy Penn Gnome for my son and daughter, respectively.

The camping cabin and canoe for my son-in-law and son.   The birdhouse I grabbed off a shelf and the totem pole I bought for my s-in-l's travels to all the hiking trails he can find across the country when he travels for work.

The every present squirrel on a motorcycle for my husband. (Who by now is just shaking his head at me as he returns to his garage to crack open a beer.)

 The Statue of Liberty for my son and the dolphins swimming past for my daughters.  (Lighthouse $1,   Statute of Liberty $2., the Dolphin below $2.)  I did buy the glass pebbles from Michael's to  create the water

The Dutch Boy and Girl for my Dutch roots.

 Of course a cat.....

 Some whimsy, a fairy and her dragon and her coach awaits her. (Wait, really did I say some whimsy?? It is all crackers!)

 Another squirrel and a traveling Gnome. Turtle and Squirrel from dish gardens.

The  rabbit and the  gnomes working in  their garden.    The  watermelon and orange are votive holders I never ever used.  

In additional to knowing it is really silly, I do know it is kind of sparse still but any new development or landscaping project takes a couple of years to fill itself in.

But I did get the Buddy Cat Seal of Approval.  His presence does explain why things are moved each morning.
 So there you have it.   I am not one to sit and do nothing.  This little endeavor had me out and gardening instead of in the house with the boob tube on.  No matter how tired I was from work, if the weather permitted, I dug in.  Not to worry, I have no plans to shovel snow for these Gnomes and Fairies but I may be on the lookout for some new additions to the neighborhood when I am thirft shopping.  Heaven help the person that buys my house when I do sell it......

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Laboring at my Stitches

First, let me thank you all for indulging me in my grandson posts and pictures.   A grandchild is truly a blessing that I never thought I would have.   I am so very blessed with family, health, career, friends.....and I have to tell you little boy hugs and kisses are the best.

So, now try son and family are back home and we are back to FaceTime, and I am stitching away.   I have made great progress on Corsica River.   I am really pleased with how far I have come in the last month.   First up, a picture of progress around August 1st ......

I have run a basting stitch down the right hand.  It is so nice to have a definitive boundary along the right.

And now a picture of where I am today.  I have all the backstitch in for this row and am moving along with the Assisi.

Also, a wee bit of progress on My's Stitcher's Heart pin cushion.   This is my take along piece for needlework nights.....except when I forget to take the floss with me!   It happens.   No floss, no scissors the other night. Should always take your needlework bag and not just your project bag!  I am anxious to finish the stitching and do the finishing of this piece.

And last but not least, I finally was able to get the last of my quilting in on my son's quilt with my daughter helping guide the weight of the fabric through the machine.  So much for that fantasy I had that I would run a seam each night......by that wonderful train of thought I'd been quilted, bounded, washed, dried, gifted and be halfway through another quilt by now.  But alas, I now have attached the binding and have the long task of hand sewing the binding ahead of me.    I have sewn only about 3 inches but I have started!  This will be a welcomed task come cool fall evenings.

September is upon us and the season's are changing.    More evening stitching time ahead!