Friday, August 27, 2021

August Progress

Hey Peeps!  I'm alive and well here,  I just haven't been that into posting often as I was.  I am blaming at the heat.  It just zaps my energy.  

I used to pride myself on being a Multi-Task Aficionado  but since I retired I feel like I am a One-Track Jane.   I dive in stitching and yard work suffers; I dive into yard work and housework suffers; I dive into housework and paperwork suffers.   I dive into my craft room and I lose a few days.…   You get the picture.  I need that multi-tasking Robin back!   I am still eating those words to my kiddos - "do your have-to's before your want-to's".  But alas, when I don't want to deal with a task, I admit it, I hide in my stitching or in my yard.   It really is hard finding time for everything when you are retired.  But enough....

Since I took July to finish the stitching on a bunch of smaller projects I decided to spend August working on fully finishing some of them.   I decided early on to use this pansy on a box lid.  No one has ever seen the amount of zig zag lacing I did on the back of this to pull out all the wrinkles.  I haven't glued it to the top yet because I am not 100% sure I am going with the paint color and I do have to apply the wax still.  Looking at it now, I am thinking I should swap the chenille trim with some cording.  Hmmmmm....?

I also stitched and finished this Theresa Baird Strawberry for our September EGA meeting.    While I was at it, I took a handkerchief I bought for $2 at a consignment shop and decided to turn it into a strawberry.   I only was interested in the tatted piece on the top when I bought.   These are my first two strawberries and I am liking how fast these stitch up and how easy they are to finish!


Below is the handkerchief I purchased.    I thought the tatted flower would make a perfect strawberry top.....and then..... I thought why lose the pretty tatted edge and decided to use the hanky to make another strawberry.    I cut the corners on a 45 degree angle and added to them to the top edge before I gathered and stuffed the strawberry.  

Here are three EGA Christmas in July ornaments I finished. 

I mounted March from Hands On Design - Year of Celebration.   Three months done/nine to stitch.


Another Hands on Design piece I finished, With This Needle, I Thee Thread.    I need to press it to make its edges crisper.  I fell in love with the colors the I first time I saw this chart.   Cathy has such a great eye for her color choices.

And another EGA challenge piece.   Something was missing when he was done then dug into my stash and found the googily eyes.  They finished it off just right.

Mill Hill Santa finished.  

I am waiting on an Amazon order of polyfil and interfacing for some pillows.  While I wait, I pulled fabric and trims for several pillow finishes.  The next rainy day (or super duper hot steamy day), I hope to put them together.   

I have added to my hexie quilt.  This one is easy to work on when mindless stitching is needed.  I am slowly working my way up to those single hexies in the upper left.    That MAY be the finished width.  

My only stitching stitching this month has been on the Terri Bay Lotus Box.   First half was done and I now I just have to finish the last section of satin stitches and then the blackwork corners and I will be ready to assemble.  Super happy to have gotten this much done.  I can see this finished before our meeting in September which was my goal!

I took a day and went to Lancaster County.   Always a pleasure.   I did some antique shopping and almost bought a Mauchline pincushion/needlebox but the design had been taken off.   The whole point with Mauchline is the design, so I passed.    Not to worry, I can't be in Strasburg area and not stop at Hodge Podge Cross Stitch store.   Passing on the Mauchline ware gave me justification to pick  up a couple of charts and fabric that spoke to me.   Since I now stitch on higher count I need to build my inventory (further justification of purchases).  I want to rethink what I have kitted up already and change out the fabric in some to 36 count and heaven help me, 40 count could be just around the corner.

Up next, I pulled this frame out of my stash of supplies and it will be perfect for the cardinal.   I think I will lace this and finish it this afternoon.  It feels so good to be emptying my tub of stitched pieces to FFO's!

But I can't do that until I finish this t-shirt for Sweet William.   I created this pattern and will use fabric paint to get it ready for him for Monday morning.   The thought is that on the first day of school every year he wears it (heaven help us, not to school but just for a photo op) and we watch him grow into it.

I continue to spend time with my sister each week.  We usually do something crafty and always do lunch.  Baby sitting one day a week continues.   Frequent weekend visits from the grands has left little stitching time. It is a happy trade off.   Raegan needs to be renamed the Boss Baby Terminator.   Such a strong-willed, over-achiever  that I  think she has reached the terrible two's six months ahead of schedule.    She really is 100% girl, loves flowers, and dressing up and loves anything with glitter!  She is in for an adjustment next week with her big brother is in school all day.

So that's where I stand.  The days are growing shorter and the evenings cooler and with that a relief from the heat and humidity that we have all had enough of.  Thanks for stopping by.   Stay safe, stay healthy and keep on stitching.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

July Stitching

Whenever I go down the rabbit hole in my craft room I vow to finish some WIPs.  Well this time I am making it so.   I decided to spend all my cross stitching this month on those WIPs.  For the most part, I pulled out projects that were at least half done although some only had the stitches placed during a meeting.  Get ready…….lots to see with what I have been doing the last few weeks. 

Ye Old Crow, by Heart in Hand.   Stitched on 32 count, PTP Carnival from stash.   Changed vines to wrapped back stitch, changed leaves to Kudzu, changed pumpkin to Toffee.  

Perforated paper snowflake.   This is stitched on metallic paper with a Kreinik-like fiber.  Most monthly EGA meetings we have a small project that introduces a new technique, fiber, stitch, etc.  This is one of those.  

Mill Hill Santa  I have no idea where this came from.  You know how sometimes “stash’ just comes to you?  Well he landed in my lap from somewhere unknown.  Almost all the stitching was done so I had very little to stitch and then add the beads.   

Christmas Etui from a Betsy Morgan class.  This is a pre-stitch for the class in the spring of 2020.   I stopped working on the this when the class was canceled.  I had only stitched the birds and the tree on the left panel.  (Oops!  I see one birdie needs some legs.) One small down and the rest of the project to go.   Hmmmm, maybe I could make this project my December stitching focus.  

Thread Painting EGA Class.   I had the pansy stitched.  I added the stem and leaf this week.   I am thinking I might mount this on an oval box lid....... Hopefully I will be able to pull out the ripples when I lace it.  

O Tannenbaum  Also an EGA project I was able to finished and get out of the UFO basket.  I added the beads and changed up the tree from what was charted.  

A guild project from  Christmas in July 2021.   Stitched and ready to finish!

Last, My Stitchers Heart from Hands on Design.   Oh the shame……this was 95% completed and then I stopped!   I had started stitching the scissors fob, the last of the smalls I had to do, over one instead of two.  For whatever reason,  I put the project down and moved onto something else. 

This last one didn't get quite in the rotation but was pulled out of the basket and now on my immediate radar to work on. 

Terri Bay Lotus Box, yes, another EGA project.  Seems I start of lot of these EGA projects and don't finish them.  This was intimidating to me until I got going with it.  Before I can get back into it I need to review where I was, what I was doing and I need some alone time to do that.  It was supposed to be done in all white but I have changed the blackwork to blue.  I used 28 count mystery linen instead of the called for 25 count Dublin.  You have to stitch this design twice; once for the inside and once for the outside so it is only about 40% complete.  I’m setting  a goal for myself to get it done before our first EGA meeting of the year in September.

It feels so good to (partially) empty out that WIP basket of some of the niggling little half finished projects.   It was a 2021 goal of mine to have fewer WIPs/UFOs on the list by December.  Hopefully by the end of the year  I will not have added too many more to that basket.   
Truth be told, I have just moved them from the UFO basket to the FFO basket but it is still progress.   

I am continuing to add to my hexie collection.  I'm getting there.   I have two more fun hand work projects in the line-up to work on with my sister when we are done our hexie quilts.   Because we are each working  on our own quilts it is giving me incentive to keep at it.   A little sibling rivalry to keep me motivated.  I have added even more since this photo was taken.  Right now it measures about 36 inches by 28 inches.   Lots more to go!

And when I wasn't stitching I was launching a one woman annilation of the spotted lantern flies in my yard.   I found that a 50/50 mix of Dawn and water in a spray bottled works well.   They seem to like the Tree of Heaven weed/tree that sprouts up in the brush behind my property.   I have been spraying the bugs with much amusement to any who can see me I am sure.   They little buggers jump off the tree toward me and I jump and swat.   Between spraying and pulling all the new growth of Tree of Heaven, I think I have the upper hand.     Of course I come back inside, dripping with sweat and feeling all creepy crawly.  On one particular day, I decided to take a swim.  I go to change into my swimsuit and there is a soapy DEAD  bug in my bra.   Trust me, I can't make this stuff up.
Labor of love stitching.   I have been adding sergeant stripes to my son's uniforms.   

And this happened.  I went out needlework one  Thursday morning and came home to find our 35 year old  Lucky Charm tree was gone.   See this link for the story of the tree. We had called our tree guy to take the pine tree down because it was getting bigger and bigger and blocking access to the back yard, it drops an incredible amount of needles into the pool and during the last few wind storms we thought it was going to go over.   This provide so much more screening that I realized for blocking my view of the neighbors and the street view of my pool.   It seems so bare now.  I feel exposed!
It may seem like I did a lot but it was really just a bunch of little bits of stitching here and there. That and I saved it all for one long post.  It is good to get these off the half-done/half-baked list.  Thanks for stopping by. Stay healthy, stay safe and keep on stitching.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

I just need to have a moment….

I went outside to use the power washer this morning.  I used it in early June for the deck and back of the house and had finally found the time to get the front porch and front siding done.  Mr. W. helps by dragging it out, connecting the hosing, getting the extension cord, setting in place, etc.   Well not so this morning.   When I went to use it he was fussing about with it on the work table.  Something with the hose connector to the unit.  New ‘o’rings tried, used WD-40 and nothing.   He looked online to get a replacement hose and here is my frustration……..

a. model no longer made, 

b. Company absorbed by a larger company or out of business 

c. Replacement parts not available separately

d. All of the above. 

I get so frustrated the you can’t repair and kept what you have.   No, you have to trash it and buy new.  I go back out to continue putzing  about the yard.   

Mr. W. comes out to tell me he has ordered a new pressure washer from Amazon. Be here tomorrow he says. 

What did you get?    (Anticipating I would be told how many PSI, what brand, electric, battery or gas)

It’s orange.

I think I’ll just go upstairs and stitch.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Stitch a palooza

Another Stitch-a-thon at Mom's has come to an end and we were not disappointed.   It was different this year,  not necessarily as productive as in the past but a great time nonetheless.  The kiddos were here two of the four days and we grilled and swam so it was a nice trade-off and everyone got to take part.

Our days started with Mimosas......

Boston daughter worked on cross stitching, crocheted a beach coverup and worked on her animal quilt.  Boston girl also had an announcement…..she has been promoted to VP of the engineering firm where  she works.  She is the director of Human Resources and has been there 18 years, starting when there were 1500 employees. They now have 6,000!  So proud of her….as I am of all three of my children. 

Below.  1. She started cutting a quilt with campers to take to the campground.  2. She had all the animals pieced for the animal quilt and was able to true up and start joining them.  3. She took time to spin some yarn on the deck.  4. She crocheted a swimsuit cover.

Three of the four quadrants trued up, one to go.  

Philly girl took a different approach for our crafting weekend.  She is into journaling.  She worked on adding a record of her inventory of everything from patterns, to zippers, to pencils, to presser feet she has to her Journal.  Much like us cross stitchers who use the X-Stitch ap, she plans to have this journal with her when she is pattern and fabric shopping, etc. 

Willy Man spent the night on the 4th and took Heather's place when she had to leave to go back to work.  I set him up at our work table with stamps, pencils and paper and he had a grand time.

I spent the evenings adding to my hexie quilt.   

I started a red, white and blue quilt.  
1. Bunches of  R-W-B fabric   2.  Some of my 6-inch squares.   I finished 13 of the 36 needed 6-inch stars.  Also need to make 16 12-inch stars.   3.  I  have all the pieces needed cut for the remaining 6-inch stars.
After the first two "misses" - upper left - I learned to better select fabrics for the best outcome.  I have another 20 sets of fabric cut, coordinated and ready to assemble in the background.

Sorry Little play with daddy.   You can join the crafting fun in a couple of years.

At least she was able to join in when it came to eating our homemade peach ice cream made with juicy  Jersey peaches.

What not to do.......swim for about an hour and THEN find a needle you 'parked' in your swimsuit.....and this in on the afternoon they left and no Mimosas were involved!

And Buddy cat was never far from being part of the action.

Today is going to be steamy and I think I will work on getting everything back in place and vacuuming up the bits and threads.    

Thanks for visiting and thank you for all your comments.   Stay safe, stay happy and keep on stitching.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Seems like I am forever getting up to speed....

After the last 16 months of  keeping myself busy around the house and yard, I am slowly finding myself busy out of the house most days.  I seem to be going somewhere or the kiddos are here every day.   It’s great albeit exhausting getting back up to social speed.  I am sure I am not alone to THIS new normal. I know as I get older I move slower but the same thought I had when I worked, I still have.... I still need more hours in my days!  I am still amazed people are bored in retirement.  Not this chickadee, no sir re. 

We celebrated Father's Day with a cook out, family and a bushel of crabs.  Pool water was still a cool 73 degrees.   Damma had no choice but to brave it.  Ugh.   Willy learned to swim on that weekend so that meant a jump-a-thon into the pool.   And little Miss Raegan learned to wear s’mores.   She was taken straight inside to the shower after this wearing of the s'mores.

I made great progress on my hexie quilt.  You all know cross stitch is not the most mobile project to take to most places. Too many accoutrements needed……magnification, array of floss, scissors, hoops, Q-snaps, pattern, concentrating on the count,  and the danger of someone dropping a deviled egg or a wet towel on your linen makes it a big No-Go.   I’ve envied my daughters who can sit and knit for hours at picnics or family events.  Well guess what, ….hexies are my new take-to-an-event project.  It is what  I worked all the way to Virginia Beach and back in the car.   My sister and I are each making progress.

Each week when we together, we trade 4 inch squares with each other so we can get a good variety of colors and patterns.

I am super happy with progress on Winter Rose Manor.  Initially, I was not going to stitch the snow but decided to go ahead and add it.   Once the trees are in, it has been mindless to add.   People usually complain about stitching houses but this one is not so bad.   I just love the look of the curtains in the windows, not so much the stitching of them.  It is perfect to take to stitching day with counting, thinking, just filling in.  Wow, it's amazing how much a person can get done being a monogamous stitcher.  I am pushing ahead with this piece until the first of July.  My hope is to pick up some smaller/closer to being done projects so I can complete them and knock them off the list.   Two or three comes to mind and I have some pre-stitch for my September EGA meeting that needs to be stitched.  Hopefully I will be back to stitching on this one only by mid-August.....or sooner of my needle flies.

Upcoming, I am looking forward to our Annual Mom/Daughters Sew-a-Thon over the 4th of July weekend.   Last year's was cancelled because of the pandemic. I’m expecting my Boston girl tomorrow and Philly girl on Friday.  I have no business starting a new quilt but that is exactly what I am thinking.   I want to make a red, white and blue one to go with my family room make-over.  Just call me the Queen of Unfinished Projects.     

Oy! I met the new neighbors last weekend and learned they have 5-five-FIVE boys.   Hearing the chattering, basketball bouncing, and just kid noise in general in my otherwise quiet neighborhood  could take a minute to get used too! Hmmmm.......this could fit nicely into my grand scheme to get Mr. W. to consider moving.

Thanks for stopping by, have a safe and happy 4th and keep on stitching!