June 25, 2022

June Update

So far so good!  I have not bought any addition craft supplies, well that is not any purchases that are not totally justifiable.    And yes, Kathy, it is a pledge we make and remake to ourselves on a regular basis. 

I was in OCMD for the Air Show.   We were on the boardwalk just above the VIP tents so we had the best view!  

A trip to OCMD always includes a stop at Salty Yarns. I saw some things I liked and wanted but I resisted.   I did however buy a pair of cheaters which fall into the category of "needed to finish a current project".

That justification is not even a stretch! It is totally legit.  And I have to say, the real cheaters and not the 4 for $12 Amazon cheaters are nicer.   I'd been using 4.0's for some time and had started to  struggle with focusing.  These are 3.0's and  everything is crystal clear!  LOL  20 days and counting on the pledge to make no purchases.  I wonder how long I can keep this going……

March/April/lMay as well as September/October/November seem to be my busiest months.  At the beginning of the June I had a day at home, with no where to go and nothing pressing on my list.  Usual days when I have no where to go, I get up, put on garden clothes and head out side to dig and weed and transplant and then, quite frankly, collapse mid-afternoon sweaty and dirty from the lifting, lugging and  heat.    This particular Monday, I decided the yard and gardens would wait and I sat down to write out some cards, send out from checks (yes, I still write checks occasionally) balanced my checkbook (and yes, yet another archaic thing I do) did my report for my EGA meeting 4 days in advance rather than 30 minutes before the meeting and just generally sorted paper work on my desk.  By 10 a.m., I was done and felt great.   Those nagging tasks that niggle at the back corner of your brain, the ones I tend to put off because I’d rather have my hands in the dirt or holding a needle, were gone.    I don’t know why I make some tasks seem so tedious when if I actually just do them they are no big deal.   I think it is that retirement thing....I'll do it tomorrow.  Just like I used to tell me kids…"you have have the time if you take the time".  Pass the salt while I eat my words!

We have had some beautiful weather the beginning of June. Sunny but not hot.  It carried over through much of one week.   One such day I looked at my infamous to-do list and decided to start cutting the hundreds of 2 1/2 inch squares of holiday fabric I needed for an EGA class in July…and another marvel, not waiting until the week of to start the cutting.   Not wanting to miss the beautiful weather, I took everything outside to work.   It was a great thing to do.  Although more than once the wind did take a square or two and sailed them into the strawberry patch.  

I resolved by the end of the day that once day a week I would do no yard work, go no where, but rather work on something totally different, not necessarily on my to-do list and just maybe I wanted to do rather than something I felt like I had to do.  Mr. Wonderful suggested I take more than one day a week off.   Well let’s not get crazy here, I do have my lists.  He doesn’t understand how I never run out of things to do. Ahhhh, but life is so good.   Two and a half years retired and not bored yet.....just living the good life.

I watched the Queen’s Jubilee as I am sure many of your did.  Just love the Pomp and Circumstance.   And oh that Prince Louis!  Many of us have had a child like him!  He is going to be a scamp for sure.

I caught up on my Garden of Stitches SAL.  I am enjoying this piece but I have hit a wall for the time being.  

I am not necessarily enjoying these 23 rows of modified herringbone stitches.   It is not a quick section.    I will work on this next week and be sure to get my June assignment done before July starts.

I have let my i-Stitch Band Sampler slip behind.  Five or six weeks left until the end.  I'm hope to finish Week 22 today and work on Week 23 tomorrow.  I am done being bothered by not keeping pace with others.......enjoy the journey, it's not a race to see who gets done first.    (Hmmm, this philosophy has contributed to my tons of WIP's)

My band sampler may have slipped but I have almost doubled what I had done on my hexie quilt.  
I am not sure how big I am going to make it.   I will just continue to add to the right side until I say enough....I will not keep adding until I run out of hexies as that would make a Jolly Green Giant sized quilt.  I'd really like to set a goal of September to be done (total fantasy).   Because of the size I think I will pay to have this long-armed rather than me attempt it on my Husqvarna. 

I saw Top Gun Maverick - Awesome.   It was the perfect thing to do before going to the air show with the Thunderbirds in OCMD.  One of my favorite things was the use of the music from the original movie.   The music is so synonymous to Top Gun I would have been disappointed if it was not in the second movie.   

I am working on catching up on both guilds blog posts as well as the website of one.  One guild done/one almost done.  Talk about a niggling task that I put off.  I dread doing the website updates.  They are not needed frequently. It always seems once I learn to navigate the site, there is an upgrade to the platform and therefore the steps change!   But once I get into it, it is usually not as difficult as I imagined it to be before I started.  Just do it Robin!

On the same lines….just when I thought I would dedicate one morning each week to catch up on other blogs and make comments, there is a snafu, more commonly know as some kind of darned update.   Some blogs have a new comment form where I must ‘identify’ myself as "Not Anonymous" but when I do it, it only takes me in a loop.   Ugh!   After a few go ‘rounds, I donned my garden gloves and go sit in the dirt!  So Bloggers, don't despair, you are being read.   Receiving my comments is a whole other issue.

My son gifted me with something.   He has been pulling out the garden edging and the stones in his flower beds and wanted to know if I could use them….thought about half a minute and I had a plan.    I replaced the bricks lining the my garden path in my Back 40 project and dug in the edging and then laid the stone and various pavers and bricks to create a better path through the area.   See, one person’s trash is truly another person’s treasure.   Now I don't need to get out the weed wacker for the path, just a spritz here and there for any grass that comes up through the stones.  One of the things I like most about this area is that I have spent next to nothing on it.   I’ve bought a couple of wine bark bushes and a couple of cone flowers but for the most part the flowers are transplants or seed packs just tossed in to grow.  It is about 98% sweat equity!

And this would be why I don't accomplish as much stitching as I would like to.

Time to get some more stones from Rich's place.   I am babying Monday and Friday this week so I will have more than enough.   I'll keep going until I am done with the path or run out of stones and bricks, whichever comes first.   Got lemons, make lemonade.   Got stones and brick, make a walkway.  Just like stitching, slow and steady wins the race.

Looking ahead to Christmas (what!) it's only June!  There are five of us that are doing an Advent Exchange at Christmas and I have 19 or 20 of the necessary 24 already.  I need to start the ‘assembling process’, make the gift tags and even start to wrap them.  I think I have  this on my August to do list to start August 1st.   Five times 24 is 120 packages to wrap!!

Here’s to smooth sailing the rest of June, July and August.  These are not the Dog Days of Summer, but the Robin Days of Summer.  Much relaxing will be done, the pool water will warm up; this is the latest it has been before a first swim!  Last weekend it was in the upper 60's.   Beautiful weather, albeit not swimming weather.  And much stitching will be done and much enjoyment will be taken from looking about the yard at the results of my hard work in the spring time.   Oh, and yes, William has asked if he could come spend a week as Damma's now that school is out…watch out Damma!   

I'll leave you with some early morning photos of my yard walk.   This is one of my favorite times of the day to be in the garden, when the shadows are long, and the fragrances are strong.   Heck, who am I kidding, I'd prefer to be out here most of the time as is evidenced by breakfast, lunch and dinner on the deck.

Lavender is doing great.
My Dill AND my Hosta are shoulder height!  Probably supposed to do something with the dill, like trim it.....

In addition to strawberries, I have already harvested lettuce, peppers, cilantro and green beans.  Tomatoes are not yet ready.
Volunteer Foxglove and Black-Eyed Susans in my Back 40 area.
Orange cone flower I planted last fall.  Either he is a dwarf plant or he needs Miracle Gro!
My sentinel...Mr. Squirrel.     The colors in here were at a peak last week.....this is an area in need of thinning.
Even out front, the colors abound......not so much the rusty color of the dead azalea blooms.  I just transplants some of the Russian Sage yesterday into the Back 40.   It was being smothered by the shrubs growing over it and I thought, hmm, I know where I can put these!
Time to thin this bed out.   The coreopsis and Shasta Daisies have seen better days. And I'd really like to eliminate all the Spiderwort.   Believe me I have tried but the bugger just keeps coming back.  It does add a nice pop of color and then.....it just falls over and covers everything around it.   The Stella Doro lilies in the background have not yet blooms, but wait until the do......yellows and oranges all over the place!

Thanks for stopping by.   Keep safe and keep in stitching.


June 5, 2022

I am suffering

from a bad case of Stash Accumulitis to the Maximus!   This I have found is highly contagious by spending too much time with other crafting minds.  

I am putting the brakes on my stash enhancement.   No worries here that I am spending the grocery money on crafting supplies and we have been reduced to eating canned cat food. With Amazon, UPS and Fed Ex each stopping at my house at least once a week or me carrying in a purchase from every time I venture out, I just woke up and thought....enough is enough.    I'd like to vow that I will buy NO MORE unless it is needed to complete an active project.   The operative words being LIKE TO.

Look at my Jenga pile of shame….

and this does not include the class pieces from my recent Guild Anniversary.  Oy!

All the purging I did of fabrics, kits and supplies a few months back was not done to create empty spaces. Every box shipped off for eBay sales is not permission to buy to refill the space that was created ….nor does every box I take to be donated give me Carte Blanche to buy more things.  I had thought I was moving to a more realistic phase of my crafting life. 

Realization hit me right between the eyes after the second trip in 10 days to a fabric store spending $$$ and $$ respectively on those visits.  When I took the fabric upstairs to put it away I saw the other fabrics I had bought to yet put away. 

Shortly before my brick and mortar shopping trips, these lovelies arrived from a pre-order last summer.   It is a selection of fat 8ths from the Blackbird Collection that I ordered from The Kitten Stitcher.  These will be great for finishing.

Of course when Kitten Stitcher sent out the announcement the fabrics were in and shipping would follow, she was great at marketing by including the link to her site with the selection of ALL the fabrics that came in and I HAD to order these.  I'm thinking project bags?

And then there was the sale at Joann's on buttons.    75% off    The packages were assorted size and hombres of each color.   Yes, four different colors jumped into my card.   I mean, it was like buy one, get three free, right? 
However there is no project mind for these.
More fabric for project bags because apparently I have the need for more bags to hold all my projects.

Some pillowcase material for my grand daughter and other fabrics....just because.

In mid-May, my sister and I each ordered the same jelly rolls of Moda fabric from the Ladybird Collection and we created a challenge between us.   Using the same jelly roll pattern we are each making a quilt and then going to compare our finished projects to see our interpretations.  I absolutely needed the coordinating fabric for the binding and accents so back to the fabric store in Vineland for a third visit!   And how's this as a major side-bar.......My sister said she has fabric for 4 quilts already started and I just laughed and said I had 4 quilt tops started and at least four others kitted up.  

Let's factor in Jamboree in October 2022 that I have signed up for,  the Shaker Retreat in November 2022,  and two classes with my guild.  Now these are not necessarily stash enhancements BUT as we all know they create the buying opportunity. 

In about 6 weeks, I am well into four figures of purchases and expenses.   An honest assessment of projects and time tells me I can never ever ever ever EVER complete all the things I already had in my stash and I need to stop ACCUMMULATING!  Sew, I plan to not buy ANYTHING until I use up some of what I have!!!     

But wait,  I forgot to mention I HAD to have these smaller button forms to cover with tiny cross stitch motifs to create the Sampler in a Jar……and immediately ordered the larger size as well…..and yes, they still sit unopened.   The intention is there, it is just the execution I am lacking.  Woe is me.......I think I need a refresher in time management.

Not to be left out, there are the 24 skeins of WDW Chesapeake I bought.  I have the pattern for the French Alphabet Sampler which is monochromatic.   It is difficult to say but truth is, this is not even on my radar to start.  Heck the plane carrying this project to my WIP basket is still on the assembly line at the Boeing factory in Washington State.    And yet somehow I felt it necessary to get the floss.  What was a thinking?   Am I going off to Tibet on a year long voyage of solitude and self discovery and thought I needed supplies to keep take with me?   I pray I have not blown up the supply chain of available WDW Chesapeake with this need to have all the things.

I need to stop trying to be a one woman economic stimulus plan.   I don’t care how much my credit card company loves me and lets me keep charging each month I need to STOP not for monetary reasons (well maybe when I think about it...LOL)  but to save my house from exploding craft supplies all over the neighborhood.  Somehow my neighbors housing draped in ribbons, bolts of fabric and floss hither and yon does not conjure up a comical site in the least.

I need to work from my stash.  
    I need to work from my stash.
            I need to work from my stash.

I am sure I am not alone with this illness.    Knowing that I have no will power and I never stick to any fantastical plan I create has not yet deterred me from pledging to myself, and now to the world,  that no additional stash will be added to my accumulation of supplies for mass crafting  unless it is needed to complete a project in progress! Maybe there's a support group for us.   

Hello, my name is Robin and it has been one day since I last purchased 

crafting supplies not for immediate use.

Thanks for stopping by, thanks for letting me vent, stay safe, be kind and keep on stitching.

PS. Within an hour of posting, I was alerted of a support center in Tennessee.   Thanks Diane!

May 24, 2022

I’m ready to bust into June!

Cake was enjoyed by all!

It has been a busy April and May for me.   Lots of babysitting time.   William's birthday party.  Yard work.  My Guild Anniversary event.   June is looking very low keyed with an empty calendar....so far.    I look forward to quiet, warm afternoons and evenings on my deck.......but that can change in a heartbeat.  Yes, I laugh out loud as I type this. 

Talk about warm….last weekend 99 degrees and today, I’ve got on sweats and a long sleeve tee.  And the 99 degree day is the one i CHOOSE to work in the yard.

I finally caught up and have kept up on the i-Stitch Band Sampler.   So easy to keep up but also can so quickly fall behind.  This week’s assignment is not yet complete but it is not yet Friday! 

I have also been working to get current on my DVHSG SAL.   I'm getting there.  We are all really enjoying this year-long project.  It is called a Garden of Stitches by Samplers Not Forgotten.  I hit a stumbling block with the rice stitch and put this aside for about 6 weeks.   My problem was the foundation stitches I put in over 5 rather than the called for over 6.   Once I found my error, it was clear sailing.  I am alternating between this and the i-Stitch Band until I get back on schedule. 

I had a wool appliqué class at my EGA meeting.  Always fun to do something a little different.  The teacher gave us this technique to sew the stem and make the wool 'roll' to give it dimension.....mine not so much.   I decided my tulip was hit by a late frost and that is why he is a bit wonky.

My grand-daughter got her first sewing lesson.  She would giggle that contagious toddler giggle as I pulled the thread through and it disappeared.

My guild celebrated it's 20th Anniversary albeit two years late.  In typical Robin fashion I was involved behind the scenes with the event.  It turned out great.  We have fabulous classes, great goody bags, fantastic raffle items, good food and a great time seeing everyone in person again.   Although it was somewhat local, I indulged and got a room for the weekend.   Such a great way to chill after the hub bub of preparations.  Everyone on the Anniversary Committee did a great job as far as I am concerned and our speakers, from the Founder of the Guild to our Guild Historian, were phenominal.  Some us went to Winterthur on Thursday; then there was tours at Westtown School and the Chester County History Center on Friday.  It was a great weekend all around.

Our teacher was Vickie LoPiccolo Jennett from Needlework Press.    The classes and projects are great and I can't wait to start stitching on them.....that is once I am totally back on track with my SAL's.   We started with making this book on Saturday and have the chart to stitch the front cover pieces.    

This sampler chart is so sweet.   It is on the smaller side which translates completely doable and the colors are bright and cheerful.   I do plan to stitch it to complement the drum, book, tray and fob.


All the necessary fibers and fabrics and finishing needs were included as well as the wooden tray for the chart above.  The tray lining is to be stitched on perforated paper and I am considering stitching on linen instead.


One member made these snap-trays for each of our goody bags.   Thank you Susan!  This has not left my stitching side since the event.  I just un-snap the corners and pop it in my project bag to take it with me.  It really helps me control the 'sprawl'.

I finally had some days at home that were not spent dealing with Guild or EGA stuff, so I got my flowers and veggies to get planted.   It was more than a tiny bit of time cleaning out  needed for both the herb and veggie gardens.   But there is now a check mark on the to-do list for these two tasks.  My son also spent the day helping me completely empty my shed to clean, sort and purge it.   I can't believe the amount of room I have in there now!

I have signed up for a Shaker Retreat in Enfield New Hampshire in November.    We are adding a few days on the front end and plan hit some museums, shops and sites on the way up.  With the Anniversary behind us, I need to start plotting out our trip and stops along the way.  I am sure it will be a full trip reminiscent of our Asheville Trip with days filled with a whirlwind of sight seeing along the way up and back!   Vanderbilt Mansion, Hyde Park,  there's a wool store and Sturbridge Village, and Waldens Pond and ....well you get the idea.

And I keep forgetting to share this Consignment Store find.   I have been looking for quite some time for a tomato salt and pepper shaker set.   I didn’t want the set for the ‘normal’ use.   I want to use the tomato for broken/old needles.   Now before you start thinking, oh that Robin is so clever…..It is not an original idea. I saw it on a FlossTube or a Blog but don’t remember where.    

Thanks for stopping by.   Keep safe and keep on stitching……

April 24, 2022

May's a coming

May is just around the corner.    I have got lots accomplished in the yard and with stitching.  I don't know what is going on but the yard work this spring seemed a lot easier.   I feel like I am missing something.   I have one foundation bed at the back of the house and my vegetable garden yet to do as well as the ongoing back 40 project.  I am enjoying all the daffodils that have come up as a result of my plantings last fall.

1.  Dogwood not looking too good due to a recent hard frost.  2. Tulips - I need to order some more tulip bulbs for fall plant this year.  3. Not a fan of hyacinths but do love me some English Woods Hyacinths.  4. Tons of daffodils coming up out back.   I can refresh the vase of cut ones every couple of days and still have a ton left in the yard.  

Keeping up my streak of being in OCMD each month of 2022, I WAS to go to OCMD for 5 days mid-April.   Alas, my daughter-in-law came down with COVID (Yes, she has been vaccinated and got the booster) and I had spend the day with her the day before she tested positive.  I just felt the responsible thing to do was to stay home.   I seem to always be busier than a one-armed paper hanger so I had been looking forward to the downtime.  You know when you are home there is always some task calling you, clothes to be folded, dishes to do, closets to clean, gardens to weed......  

I had kitted up some small kits and WIPs to take to OCMD. Again, I have no defensible reasoning behind how any of us think we can accomplish so much stitching at a retreat.….but I digress.  So to smooth myself since I had to stay home, I rewarded my little old self with a start on AUTUMN SKIES by HOD.   I pulled the called for DMC and then switched them out with comparable over-dyed.  Not too far in I ran amok.   When I completed the second row of 3 pumpkins I realized I placed the pumpkins in columns rather than staggering them.    No frogging for me.  I decided to go with it.    

I finished COZY INTO WINTER from Jeannette Douglas Designs.   I love the colors in this one.   I stitched on a 32 count mystery fabric that had a little sparkle in it.   I changed out the row of quilt stars from white to the yellow because the white did not show up on the fabric.  JDD’s has companion pieces for the other seasons.  I haven’t purchased them….yet.

Still needing some instant gratification, I picked up this little zip bag that was in my ADVENT EXCHANGE this past Christmas.  Stitched this up in less than an afternoon!

I had fallen behind 4 weeks with my i-Stitch BAND SAMPLER and although not caught up, I am not falling any further behind which is some kind of plus.    It’s that time of the year, when I am outside more than in.   We had a rainy week which coincided with my week of self isolation so I was able to make some notable progress on all my WIPs.  Obviously I am not a monogamous stitcher  but I'm trying to devote all of my stitching time to band sampler so I can get caught up.  This week's assignment is not so stitch intensive so if I can get last week done, I might have a chance to be on target again.

I also made progress on RED FEBRUARY from Sassy Jack’s before deciding to put this one aside for a bit.  

Next weekend we celebrate William’s 6th birthday!  Where has the time gone?   He recently had a 3 day sleep over at Damma's and we did all the fun things from blueberry pancakes to ice cream to dying Easter Eggs.   Life is so good with little boy hugs in it.   He asked me to make him Pokémon pillows for him which is again something to take me away from stitching time.

1.  How pastel sidewalk chalk turned this color I don't know.  Just like I don't know how it got on his face and not the sidewalk.  2. Jumping on the neighbors trampoline  3. Dying Easter Eggs  4. and 5. The mess I am making trying to create the pillow he asked for! Pattern created, templates made, fabric cut and now to appliqué the pieces.

And just to make sure I give them equal time, Miss Raegan ready to ride her scooter on a recent Damma Day.   I found out later than I had her dressed in her PJ's all day.......oh well.  

I’ve got lots coming up in the next couple of weeks that is going to keep my away from stitching but it is good stuff.  More on that next time.

Where would we be without the love of our needlework to work on in our downtime to smooth our souls?   And the love of a good book as well.   I recently finished NIGHT ROAD by Kristin Hannah and ESCAPE by David Baldacchi.   I gave both 5 starts.   I am currently reading BEYOND THE CRUSHING WAVES by Lillian Mirren while I wait for Book 19 of the BREGDAN CHRONICLES series.  

Thanks for stopping by…….Stay safe and keep on stitching.