Monday, December 28, 2015

It's a Wrap

Well 2015 is winding down.  Family, good  friends, good times and good fortune are my memories.   As 2015 comes to a close, I am wrapping up the completion of my EGA project, Pining to Stitch.   This has been such an enjoyable project.   Each piece small enough to be super manageable....that is until the Needlebook.   This last piece is a bit more challenging and requires more attention and counting.   I am ahead of schedule as far as the guild schedule on this project.  I haven't decided if I will start the finishing or wait until we do it as a group in May and June

So my first project for 2016 will be the completion of this puppy.

My pledge for 2016 - not necessarily a 'resolution' - but I do hope to work on the basket of stitched projects to turn them into finished projects.   I'd like to do one a month but will consider it a win if I manage six completed in 12 months! Not necessarily setting the bar low, just not wanting to overwhelm or pressure myself.   That's my story.  Anyway,  it is an expansion of my pledge to myself to work from my stash rather than adding to my stash.  Lord knows I don't need anyone going through my craft room when I die and saying "what in THE hell was she doing with all this".....I mean, my cohorts in stitching get it; my spouse surely would not.  I do sometimes see dollar signs when I look at the rings and rings of WDW and GAST floss I have and think egads woman! I guess it really is a New Year's Resolution just by another name.

A couple of more quick finished to round out the year are what I am guessing are two pin pillows.

The first was a quick stitch I picked up at my LQS some time ago.   The ladies were clever to add everything - floss, trim, pre-cut fabric and package these up for a quick sew.   I stitched this at my son's house over the holiday's.   You know how it need something to stitch but nothing beats the light and stitching chair you are used to at home so you grab something little and manageable.   This was a great remedy to pull out of my stash and take with me.

This next finish is from my EGA Chapter, The Lamplighters.   It again was complete with all the materials and patterns provided.  It was nostalgic to work on crewel work.    I know it is what I started on all those years ago.    Remember those "Jiffy Stitchery" patterns from Grants and Woolworths?    Just needed to resist the urge to put the wool in my month like I do with floss when threading the needle.  Working on different stitches was fun.

I have to say, my EGA Chapter has stepped it up the since last April or so with more interesting meetings, some new members and members are actually staying to stitch.  (Kudos to you Karen and our Board!)
Pardon the wrinkles.   I just arrived home from 5 hours in the car traveling from my son's.......and it was to a  sink full of dishes and ANTS on my counter that I had to remedy.   Mr. Wonderful was not so wonderful at being a bachelor.  At this point,  I'd rather play with my computer and stitching then drag out the iron and ironing board so you get wrinkles.
I am sure I can find some coordinating fabric in my stash to stitch this up as a pin 
pillow as well.  Maybe I can even do that before my next EGA meeting in January.

Hope you are all well and enjoying/enjoyed a fantastic holiday season.

Wishing you a happy, heathy, prosperous and stitch-filled New Year.

X's and O's to everyone.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

It's a boy!

Hi little guy.   We are going to have fun together.
OK, you will have indulge me here, it is my first grandchild....a grandchild that I thought would never be........ultra sound shows it is a boy, due May 2nd.   Of course, I can't see it but the technician proclaims it is a boy.   They shared the photos last week and it finally sunk in today that this is really happening.  This afternoon I dug into my hope chest and pulled out my son's baby clothes that I saved.   Wow, I can remember dressing him in each of the outfits I came across like it was yesterday.  I am sure on closer examination, they will be found to have dry rotted elastic.....I mean, they are 35 years old.    
This I can tell is a foot.

After two daughters and nieces I was thrilled to have a boy.  So much so that I could hardly wait to buy him his first flannel shirt.    
Little blue sweater set my M-in-L knitted
Yes, after pink and ruffles I was ready for a rough and tumble boy.
Dad was grinning ear to ear when he brought the super son t-shirt into the hospital.

Remember these?   The little t-shirts that snapped shut.   OMGosh from W. T. Grants no less.
I didn't realize I had packed away  so many outfits and sweaters and blankets.   They are bagged up  for delivery to State College this weekend!  

Pardon the interruption/future interruptions will occur as needed/please return to your current stitching project.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Tis the Season - UPDATED

Tis the season for........ 
 (potential) stress.......but I choose not to get wrapped up in that whole mess.  Of course that is sometimes easier said than done.

It has been hard for me to get into the spirit of the season this year for me......could be the 70 degree weather when putting up the Christmas lights outside.   What do people in Florida do to get in the spirit?   Anyway, yes, the weather has been fabulously above normal and I fear we will be all the more shocked when it returns to normal. But for now, it is fantastic to be out and about in just a sweater or vest.

Just about ready I am for the family and fun.   (Hopefully) I have made the last trip to the grocery store.   I have all I need to make my Scandanavian fish chowder for Christmas eve, Christmas morning breakfast and the prime rib for Christmas day.  I do have some gift cards to pickup and lottery tickets to buy for stuffing in the stockings which I plan to head out later this morning to do.  

I do have to wrap some presents still.   And I am trying to keep my foot on top of Buyers Remorse which always wants to rear its ugly head.    I am doing something different this year with the wrapping to make it easier.    I found a big box for each person and placed inside all their presents wrapped in tissue.   That leaves me with only one box per person to gift wrap.   I think it's genious!  
1 - Ta-da!
Less trash, easier for those who have to pack everything into their car for the drive home.   No more Christmas morning floor covered with trash and paper and having to hop, skip and jump through the melee.  The girls at work think I am being mean making my children think they are only getting one present.  My CHILDREN are 40, 37 and 35....really....I think they should be over it.   I never thought it might be disappointing to see only one package.....I just thought it as an easy, less stressful way to do it.  (because it is all about me!)  Certainly is easier than wrapping 10 or 12 packages for each of them.    They may see the tree and think I finally made good on that promise to cut back on Christmas.  Since they don't read my blog regularly I guess it will be a surprise/shock to them.   I am sure I will cave and will fess up what I have done earlier rather then later on Christmas eve.

I also did less decorating inside this year.   No more decorating every room and putting up multiple full sized trees.....including a tree in the bathroom.   Not really more evidence that I had trouble getting into the spirit.  I started the downsize last year. I think with only using one third of what I usually do, I probably am still in line with what most people do.   I really need to downsize all the tubs and crates of Christmas of those jobs to add to the list for a rainy spring day when I have nothing else to do......does that day really exist?

Not much stitching has been done between holiday prep and physical therapy visits (which are doing wonders!!).   Such a busy time of the year with dinner with friends, house parties, house tours, shopping, caroling and visiting friends.  Everything always manages to get done which is why I refuse to get stressed and loose sleep because I am rolling around a million and one thoughts in my head about how, when, yes, no, what, always comes together.  Not even making any New Year's Resolutions this year other than to make sure I take time to stop and enjoy the view along the way.

So from my home to yours........wishing you the merriest of Christmases 
and the safest and happiest of New Years.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Finally Finished!

Taking that final stitch!
Yeah me!    I set a goal of Dec. 1 to be completed and I made it.   This is the SAL with my guild - Delaware Valley Historic Sampler Guild.   We started in February 2015 with the goal to finish by our January 2016 I am done and I am ahead of schedule!

Girls of the Guild, by Sharon Verbos of The Purple Thread

I think about 25 to 30 of us participated in the SAL.  It is going to be fun to see everyone's completed samplers.   Fellow stitchers choose different color and count linens, different flosses and did personalization on some bands.   I will have the camera battery charged for our January meeting.

I used Baby Spinach and Capri, two favorite colors.   I haven't decided yet if I want to tea stain it to calm it into more traditional sampler hues.

 This is Tessa!  One of our guests at Thanksgiving.   She was a joy but she was very hard to capture on camera.   This little sweetheart, who never stopped moving, you never knew she was there.  She was good as gold.   I think older brother Alex and sister Iris are good influences on her!

The Stitch from Stash group has folded.   We got a heartfelt email from the organizer explaining why she needed to end it.   I get it.   When what you love doing is no longer a passion, when life gets in the way or it becomes overwhelming and is a task, it is time to stop.  I applaud her for knowing when it is time to think of self and not worry about pleasing others.   Moving on, it may be over  but it has started a catharsis within me.   I hope to continue to keep stitching from stash and to finish many of the UFOs I have.    I will not be at a loss for projects to do I assure you.  What happened along the way with my short stint in Stitch from Stash was a hard evaluation of self and that impulse buying to add to me stash.   I no longer want to be that collector of stuff for later use someday.  So at least for now........I hope to stay on the path of stash reduction.   Moving forward, I vow to try to not start anything new until I get some UFOs moved to the completed column.   Although I don't have all the details yet, this should fit right in with my guild's 2016 challenge.  Of course, classes and SAL's won't count!  Already with the excuses.

Talk about having to much stash.     I picked this up at a local consignment shop recently.   I had been looking for a milk glass dish like this.   Salty Yarns has a pattern (sorry I can't remember the name or
designer) but it is a monochromatic stitched pin cushion that is mounted inside the dish.   Of course the holes are for scissors.   Imagine my hoots of laughter when dusting my bedroom and up I pick and dust off one I already had!   Geez!   Right there in plain view it was with a small silk flower arrangement in it.  Good thing I only paid $5 a piece.   But here we go again, buying things I don't need!   This trying to curb the  spending and stop thinking I am on a one woman mission to spark the economy may be harder than I think!

You're not seeing double!  I purchased something I already had!

And last by not least, after all the cooking, dish washing, love and laughter of the Thanksgiving Holidays I needed a little something something creative to do.   With a houseful there was little crafting time save for a few knitted rows on an infinity scarf.  I saw this on Pinterest - my number one favorite place to spend time.  It kind of scares me of where I might be now if there were Pinterest 35 years ago!!  Any guesses what these are?  

I can tell you these could be made with numbers or letters.   Numbers, my preference, were not available at my Joann's.  These are quilting marking pins!   Until now I have been pinning numbered post-its or scrapes of paper to stacks of squares with a row number for a quilt which get all dog eared or fall off.  I made five sets of A to L using corsage pins and beads from my stash.   I can see these in the stockings of some of my favorite quiltings.   These will be great to identify what row is what and kept them in order prior to assembling.   On a good note - bought this week, used this week!   What a concept.  Quell the stash hoarding.

Ok, need to head outside to start the progression of boxes and boxes of holiday decorations  out of the garage attic.  Mr. Wonderful is going to help but only if I promise to be done before the Temple Football Game!

X's and O'x to everyone.  Have a great weekend and week to come.   Don't get caught up in the holiday stress!  Breathe and enjoy......

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Can I get an Amen!

I am so ready.....I have busted my little (sic) backside today.   I should have a ka-zillion steps on my Fitbit.  

Welcome home!
Corn Casserole - done, Cranberry Relish - done, Big Pot of Chili for dinner tonight - done, Breakfast Casserole for tomorrow morning - done, Watergate Salad - done, Green Bean Casserole - done, relish dishes....not done but thought about!, Turkey is brining, bathrooms are cleaned, floors are washed, and dishes washed, washed and washed and FINALLY done.  All I have left to do is bring the sheets in off the clothesline, run them through the dryer for a few minutes to get the chill off and make up the beds.    Family should be here between 7 and 9 tonight.   I think I see a window of opportunity opening to stitch.  um, last time I said that, I promptly fell asleep in the recliner.   Tomorrow I will set the table, pop that turkey in oven and make the potatoes and gravy.......a feast to be sure. It will be well worth all the pre-work I did today.   How did I ever manage when I worked the day before Thanksgiving?

Wishing you all a Wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving.

Buddy is exhausted just watching me.    He has resumed his perch on the mantle
for his sleeping place.   Remember, no one ever owns a cat; they own you.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

My Favorite Holiday

I am very blessed to have family, friends, health, a job......

It has been a crazy couple of weeks.   All good but nonetheless crazy.   Little to no stitching has been going on.  The last couple of weeks I have had something to do seven days a week and it has had me coming home to finally sit down with my stitching....and promptly fall asleep in the Lazy Boy!  Followed by a weekend of houseguests........dogs jumping and barking,  tails wagging things off coffee tables and bookcases, keys and phones on every surface.  Drinking glasses left on every end table.  Tons of dishes and tons of laundry.  Someone always hungry and opening the fridge.  A line for the shower.  I am not Miss Neat but I do like the normal sense of order I have in my house so for weekends like this I learned to just much as it is a jump from my normal, quiet day-to-day existence, I love it.    Everyone was home this weekend because no one was coming for Thanksgiving!   I turned in earlier than everyone last night figuring it was time for the mom to let the kids be kids.  I laid in bed and listened to their chatter, giggles and belly laughs and it felt so good and I had that warm and fuzzy feeling!    And guess what, we are doing it again in 4 days.   I went from just Mr. W. and I for a quiet stitching filled afternoon of a Turkey Day Feast for two to 12 house guests who will all be spending the night!     I don't know where I am putting everyone and I am sure there will be air mattresses with kids across the living room floor.  Oh boy but it sure is a wonderful life!  

Before I continue.....with fresh sheets and linens, I think a few minutes of stitching time are deserve and hopefully next post will include some stitching progress.  I have two projects I'd 
like to move from the WIP column to the Finally Finished column! 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Stay Away Squirrels!

What a week......been busy and been drama filled at work.    As the Senior Admin I seem to keep getting drawn into everyone else's drama.  Sometimes I just want to not be politically correct with my answer and just be totally sarcastic.  Probably would be lost on these people.  For some reason there is a belief that I am the only one to go to for any answers.  Really does no one else know when all else fails, to turn the copier off and let it reboot?  Oh no, probably spent hundreds of dollars of Company money between all the co-workers messing about for a half hour and calling IT for a solution.  I thought they were going to have a parade and put me on float for returning from a meeting solving the problem in about three seconds.  I just scratch my head and think......Harvard degree, Rutgers degree, Widener degree?  I've got the Common Sense degree!  Diverting and deflecting and remedying crisis made this was not a week that was conducive to crossing tasks off my to-do list.  I really want to cancel my subscription to all their issues! However it is not that easy.......we all know  how quickly the ugly mob could turn if I were to freak out.  And that is why I carry my stitching with me to get a few rewarding, blood pressure reducing stitches in at lunchtime.   OK, got that out of my system.   Pardon my rant.

One good thing this week at work was being able to give away $$$.    I manage the corporate credit cards and we have a ka-billion points from aggregating to them across the 110  cards.   In September I redeemed a good chunk of points for gift cards.  What a fiscally responsible way to spread good will.  Now I don't give the cards away but I worked on filling the envelopes with the various cards and putting the names on the envelopes.  The recipients have no idea they are getting them next week.   Employees come up to the Executive Floor with dread and how nice to see the smile come across their face and the tension leave their body.  My Company is so generous and I think it is so wonderful to see the difference make by saying "hey, I hear you have really been helpful with training the new guy", or "a customer called to compliment your efforts", or "I understand you're saving the Company money by  shopping for the better price".   I worked on this for the last couple of weeks and have kept it under my hat.  So satisfying.  I really do get pleasure from seeing others happy.

So, to my stitching week.    I finished the beaded acorn scissors fob.    It was such  quick stitch.   Love love love it!  I order doublesided tape we used at Jamboree and really helped with the assembly.

I am back to reading again by slowly reintroducing my daily time on the treadmill.   It's going slow but I am making progress and have been able to almost finish Oliver Potzsch's The Beggar King, A Hangman's Daughter Tale.   This the third in a series of five.  

Now it is time that I really get back to my Guild SAL.   I have grown disenchanted with this piece.  I was over the moon to join and start but the pattern is so filled inconsistencies and so much compensation stitching has been done that it has really lost its attraction.   It's just sitting on my lap stand patiently waiting.  So much so that instead of stitching on it I have done everything else cleaning and purging kitchen cabinets and bedroom closets.

Guess it's time to put it in high gear and get the last six rows done.

Happy November and have a great week in stitching!