Sunday, January 13, 2019

Wintertime

Today's a snow day.   A winter storm is blanketing much of the Mid-Atlantic.   Fortunately I am on the west and less snow side of the event.   It is giving me a good time to take down and stow all the holiday decorations.    I should have taken them down last weekend but had a surprise party to help with on Saturday and went to Longwood Gardens on Sunday.   So today it is.....and I believe it will include some culling of the decorations creating a separate pile to donate.  

 Sorry the flash didn't work on my metal cardinal.  He really is a pretty bright red.

But back to Longwood Gardens for a minute.    If you are ever in the area of northern Delaware or south-eastern Pennsylvania it is a definite must see no matter what the season.    Heather and I spent the most of the day there on the last day of the holiday display.   An evening visit is awesome as well with all the lights on all the trees and outside displays.

We walked the grounds and found some new 'favorite' spots and were just as happy to just tour the conservatory.  



 It's hard to see but these trees were suspended over the pond.

 Each year they pick a theme for the 'drawing room' area and this year was books.  Pages were strategically folded to create images.



 The garland around the fire place was created from pages of books.

Bows on packages were also created from pages of books.


The orchid area is always a favorite.

This one looks like the face of an alien!

 Suspended in one of the greenhouses was this tree made from rectangular pieces of glass, hanging on a fishing line sort of fiber of different lengths to create a perfectly shaped evergreen tree surrounded by amaryllis.  It was another great visit......looking forward to a trip back in the springtime when the grounds are alive with the colors of spring.

For stitching and my EGA Challenge - 

I finished my challenge piece for December.   This is My Stitcher's Heart, a collaborative piece from Elegant Stitch and Hands on Design.   The project consists of several smalls, a hexagon box to store the pieces and this stitched piece for the box top.  
I think now have all the pieces except the scissors fob completed.   Time to schedule an uninterrupted  day to do the finishing.    I'll put it on the list!  Best part is to pick a new #4 for the challenge.

This month at my EGA, Number #3 is our focus piece.     I should be able to easily accomplish the completion of this piece during this rotation!  I am really enjoying this challenge so far. 

My starting point this month.

Two motifs completed since Thursday.

Camp WannaStitch at the end of this week should really help me move this to the finished column.   It's another win-win.    A finish and a chance to sort through my stash to find a replacement #3 project.

So that's a wrap from me.   Off to un-decorate and leave the house with lack of color and looking blah.   :-(   

Thanks for stopping by and keep on stitching.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Closing the book ....

....on 2018 I am.   It was a year filled with highs and lows and decisions and I for one am ready to move forward into a shiny new year.

Before I share my recent stitching, I need to share my trip to visit my son and his family.  First, if my son had anything other than a Griswold Christmas we would all be in a suspended state waiting for the other shoe to fall.   It starts that he had to work and couldn't come home and he had a house full of in-laws instead for the holidays.   Someone, or perhaps the fridge itself, didn't shut tight on Christmas eve and they woke up to defrosted freezer and warm food.   But is gets better......time to put the turkey in the oven and their stove does not work.......not to  be discouraged, they are going to modify dinner and cook on the grill.......hmmmm, someone left the propane open and the tank was empty.........so, you guessed it, Chinese Restaurant for dinner!   My son had the right attitude, the stove could be fixed and there was no point is getting upset and it wouldn't be long before Christmas 2018 became a Thompson legend.   Breakfast on the 26th was done on the grill and the hat on William just seals the whole Griswold adventure.

By the time I arrived, fridge issues were resolved, the in-laws gone, a new tank of propane was bought and a new ignitor was installed in the oven and there was nothing for me to do but enjoy my daughter-in-law's finally cooked delicious Christmas dinner and enjoy my son and his family and a bit of wassail!  And boy did I enjoy my little Willam opening his Christmas presents.

Of course, Damma buys the bests presents.   He loved his little tee-pee I got and even slept in it that night.



























Before I left for my son's on the 28th, I tried my hand at something different........and as always, there's a story.    I saw this pattern at quilt show years ago, long before the red 50's truck was popular.   Every year I went back I looked for the pattern.   I searched the internet for the pattern but none were the one I remember.    Imagine my surprise and embarrassment when searching through my quilting fabric I find it all kitted up!   The embarrassment came when I told my daughters to stop looking for the pattern because I  had found it.....conversation goes, "Wow, what store/site did you find it?" ..... I reply. "..um, in my stash".....silence and then "just more evidence for us give to the home when we check you in"......children!   On to the stitching...


I didn't quite like the plainness of the truck and tree so I got out my box of 64 Crayola crayons.    I shaded the truck and then using paper towels, I ironed and melt/set the wax.

I did a section of wrapped backstitch but I pulled them out because I liked the more primitive look without it.

 Since I changed the color of the truck, I think I will have to change the color of the coordinating greens.  It was fun to stitch and quick....only two days......now how long it takes for me to assemble it is a whole other story.

I also stitched these cuties up.  Hard to believe that I finally made Christmas ornaments for myself!   Hopefully there are more ornaments in my future.
 I think the red bird may need an eye added.


 And here is my progress on my EGA Challenge piece......not so much stitching on it but I think I can make progress before my January EGA meeting.
 I just love the colors and think the tassle is too cute!

 So that's where I am project-wise.  2019 holds more stitching in my future.   I will be heading to Cape WannaStitch in mid-January and have a few other stitching related events on my calendar for 2019.   It's going to be a good year!

Wishing all my friends and fellow stitchers a bright and happy New Year.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Happy Holidays

Well I am finally able to stop to squeeze in a blog post.  On top of the normal heavy workload I have been covering for a girl out for surgery and an extended leave, I am training two people and have had the supervisory responsibilities expand to eight.    It has been exhausting with non-stop 10 hour days.   The most stress comes from the back-log of my work that is accumulating.  Add that to the holiday stress of shopping and decorating and house parties.  Although I am tapped out I have been able keep up with the bare minimum at home but I can tell you thoughts of delaying retirement are waning.   I am tapped out.   But after leaving work on Friday, I am now off until after the first of the year.......a well deserved rest which I plan to make the most of.    But enough......

I finally finished the last of the decorating yesterday morning and then started with wrapping.   My saving grace is that I won't see my son and his family until the 29th.   

As for decorations, I didn't put up as much as I have in the past and what I did  put out, I changed up a bit.  Take this corner of my kitchen......I put my snowman baker in a a red ceramic pie plate, added greens and a little wrapped package. I like it better than just plopping him down.  Got some ideas from staging from watching Priscilla! 


I added a metal cardinal for my brother to the top of my package display on the front steps.

My living room shelf is filled with holiday stitching and bits of greens and holiday things.
Not a original idea.   I copied how designer Patty Yergey of Samplers Revisited displays her samplers in office.

A table top of Santa's




I love my Lefton ware.  The relish is under the creamer and sugar is new this year.   A gift from a friend.  I need to get back into some consignment shopping and see if I can score some new pieces.



Another Priscilla idea.   I put this miniature tree on a cake stand, using a gingham trimmed tea towel and added smaller wrapped packages.

 A setting of Byer's Dolls

All kinds of bits and bobs added to the shelves of my china closet.






 A second setting of Byer's Dolls.

My hoosier in the kitchen.

My kitchen Christmas Tree and the wooden angel from my brother's house.




 Greens and sparkling things on top of the Hoosier.






 My mantle display.  Of all the places for Buddy to decide to lay.....
 He doesn't look too happy that I woke him up.....well I'm not happy he keeps knocking over the blocks.


And now for stitching.   One thing that has helped me stay sane through the overtime is carving out 20 minutes or so at lunch each day to stitch.    Usually when I have this bouts of overtime, I get angry and snap when I can't do the things I want to.   Stealing a few minutes each day at lunch time it helping me stay sane.   Stitching really is therapy.
 Above, is one of the block party series from Hands On Design....this one is called Mend.
 I love Kathy's designs and this was a really quick stitch start to finish.

My current work is progress is another Hands On Design piece.    A limited edition collection of smalls and the box as part of a exclusive set from Hands On Design and Elegant Stitch.

 I fell in love with the colors which are not showing as nicely with this cell phone photo.   It is an easy, fast stitch and my EGA monthly challenge piece.  No guarantees I will be finished by next meeting by here's hoping!

Well thanks for stopping by and indulging my Christmas Tour.    Merry Christmas to all and a bright and shiny new year to each and everyone.