Saturday, January 03, 2015

A Sort of Confession With A Little Progress to Report

I  have been sorting my cross stitch and other crafts slowly over the past few months and it amazes me how many things I have in my to stitch pile as well as my WIPS pile. One of the things I wanted to focus on and finish last year was my Noah's Ark piece. It's nothing impressive but I found it cute when I bought it. I started it back in 2005 and picked it back up in 2006 and then it sat until last year.


As of today.

There are times I wonder why I keep plugging along on it. I don't have any small children or anyone that would really want it now, but it is something I need to finish. 

Do you have anything that you keep pulling out, putting a few stitches in and then putting it away again - and every time wondering why you keep plugging along on it?

Friday, January 02, 2015

Welcome 2015!!

I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year. We can again begin with a brand new slate and a fresh outlook with new goals. There are no failures, just setbacks that can be learned from or changed. I love sitting down at the beginning of each year and plan. Those plans will be many and I may or may not attempt or succeed at doing them all, but this list of plans always signifies hope and dreams for me.

To start the New Year off right, I decided to spruce up this old blog and get down to some serious business. It's been forever since I've done any type of updating and boy could I tell. I miss writing about the projects and things I have been doing around here. There's something to be said about going back and reading old entries. It surprises me how much I've forgotten over the years.

One of the things I want to do is get back into stitching. I've had some issues with my eyes that have prevented me from putting my needle to a blank cloth. I am hoping that the issues are truly going away and I can see relatively well again - at least good enough to continue to stitch. I have so many projects that need finishing!!! So with all faith in my eyes healing, I've signed up for the 2015 Smalls Stitch Along (see sidebar for more information). I think that will be a great incentive to get back into the swing of things.

On Wednesday, we went to town to get a pork shoulder for the traditional New Year's Pork and Sauerkraut and of course I have to browse the after Christmas markdowns. We always replenish our wrapping paper and boxes for the next year and look for things that can be used throughout the year as well. I found a nice assortment of cute gift bags and bags to put cookies and other goodies in. I'm now all set for the next Christmas Cookie Exchange!

While browsing at Home Depot, I came across a marked down amaryllis that was abused and begged to be rescued.  It absolutely STANK with the smell of a putrid aquarium - almost a sewer smell to it. The poor bulb was swimming in water and it was hacked off - no flower, no leaves, nothing but a spent mass of smell.

I had to take it home and disassemble it. What I found was a bulb that had the basal plate chopped off, roots trying to grow but most were rotted off.  I washed it off and cleaned it as best as I could.

I really wish I had taken photos of the condition it was in when I took it out of the container, but my main concern was getting this poor thing planted in a new pot in soil and hope that it would recover from all its abuse.

It is now in a sunny window and possibly in soil for the first time in its life. I wonder what it's "thinking" now...

The plant was in a very tall vase type container that was filled with rocks and the spiked stand that kept it off the bottom of the container and kept it level. These things had to be washed and washed to get rid of the putrid smell. They still need to be bleached and then they will all be repurposed. That poor amaryllis will never have to worry about seeing that torture chamber again.

Now we just have to convince it to survive...

Saturday, December 06, 2014

December Snapper Finish

Finally! The December Snapper is finished and am now working on the border. Now, maybe I'll have it done before the New Year!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Stash Stitching In 2013

It has been forever since I updated this blog. Life had thrown many changes our way, and I'm finally back on track to enjoying stitching and life and general. The last three years have been difficult, and with those difficulties, I put aside my stitching - actually all crafting in general and just escaped reality through books. I guess it's what I needed at the time. Now it's time to get back to work on those poor pieces that have been hiding in boxes for the last 3 years (or more).

2013 is the year for stash stitching for me. No purchases except for the occasional thread or bead that I may run out of while stitching a WIP. In fact, I've joined along with others on the Abstinence/Celibate Wagon and have committed to a year of stitching without buying new stash. My project list is as follows:

My UFO/WIPS List (starting with 38 in '13)

Art Ventures Old Sentinel - 15%
Bent Creek - Snappers (12 w/border) - 12 completed plus 1/3 of the border
Carriage House Samplings - The Houses of Hawk Run Hollow
Cross Stitch & Country Crafts North Woods Stocking
Crossed Wing Collection Hummingbird Garden 35%
Curtis Boehringer Needlewomans Murder Mystery
Dawna Barton - Dinner Call - 60%
Diane Arthurs Happy Everything - 60%
DMC The White Bindweed Fairy - 15% - found mistake must rip
Dimensions - A Bird For All Seasons - 5%
Dimensions - Magic In Motion - 5%
Dimensions - Wolf Portrait
 - 65%
Drawn Thread Miniature Reversible Sampler
Drawn Thread - Winter Spot - 10%
French Calendar free weekly - 23 of 52 finished
Hearts Delight Noahs Ark Kit50%
Helga Mandl and Barbara Ana - Mystery Sampler - 45%
Just Cross Stitch 2001 Ornament Issue Cinnamon Bear 70%
Just Nan First Stitches
Just Nan Last Stitches
Kustom Krafts - 4 Horses of Apocalypse
Kustom Krafts - Fire & Ice
Kustom Krafts - Sofa Cat
Lanarte Romantic Picnic 15%
Lavender & Lace Celtic Spring - 35%
Leisure Arts Noahs Ark Baby Afghan 50%
Marquoir Mystery Sampler freebie SAL 3 of 9 finished
Marty Bell - Hideaway Cottage
Pamela Kellogg Cupids Garden Mystery SAL 15%
Pat Rogers Hearts & Lace Sampler 70%
Paula Vaughan - May
Pegasus Pekingese Dogs V. 4 15%
The Silver Lining Aymars Amber Rose 30%
Sweetheart Tree - Olde English Needle Roll - 15%
Sweetheart Tree Teenie Tweenies Spring Has Sprung 30%
Teresa Wentzler Stretch 15%
Teresa Wentzler Under the Evergreen
Vermillion Stitchery - The Holy Family

*Item in fuchsia is my focus piece.

Here's where I am on my focus piece. I can't believe that the last time I worked on it was in November of '06!!!! I'm hoping to have this one done in the near future - then onto the next...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Long Month

It has been almost a month since my last post, but it certainly doesn't feel it. The time has gone by so quickly, probably because we've been quite busy around here.

First, I really need to tell about something that has still has me speechless. I have a dear online friend that lives miles and miles away. I'll probably never get to meet her in person, but she still touches my life in so many ways. I received a box the other day from my favorite needlework shop, and it contained the following gifts from this wonderful friend. (she made me cry)

1. Hummingbird w/accessory pack - The Victoria Sampler
2. Living Free w/accessory pack - The Victoria Sampler
3. M is for Mother w/accessory pack - The Victoria Sampler
4. Snow Sisters w/carrot noses & buttons - Wildflower Stitchery & More
5. Sparky & Friend w/carrot nose & buttons - Wildflower Stitchery & More
6. The Vally of Peace - Thomas Kincade

How do you say thank you and make it sound as grateful as you feel? And what do you do to repay someone for this much kindness? My last purchase of anything cross stitch was the JCS Ornament issue and I can't even remember what it would have been before that. This package certainly made me feel special :) With all that said I had to stitch one as soon as it arrived and after I found the perfect fabric in my stash for it.(Can you guess which one? see below)

Garden season has started, and I've been spending some time getting things planted, plus getting the garden ready for all the seedlings that will need to be put in soon. The garlic is growing nicely, the onions are doing well, and so is the rhubarb. The peas are peaking out after being in the ground since Easter weekend, and I'm impatiently waiting for them to really grow! I'll be putting more onions and potatoes out today, and will try to get the Swiss chard and lettuce planted.

We've had a few days of 90(F) degree weather, and the nights have unseasonably warm. It has been nice for hanging out clothes and the weather has made things bloom quickly. Sadly, today is the last day of this weather, and we are going to see a 20-30 degree drop in daytime temps starting tomorrow. I'm worried that we are going to see frosts that are going to hurt the plants in bloom. That would be awful for the apples and berries that had a quick awakening.

DS was accepted at all the colleges he applied to, and has finally decided on the one that he wants to attend. Surprisingly, it's quite close, so we'll get to see him more than expected. He was looking at a few outside the state, so this was a very nice surprise!

The paperwork that we needed to do has been ...ummm... interesting. As a homeschooling mom, I've come to appreciate all the the school district did when I went to college :) We've made it though, and after the evaluations this year, my son will be officially graduated, and then we send off the end paperwork for his state approved diploma. YAY! He made it!


I ended up with an abscessed tooth, which put me down for a while. Between the pain and the antibiotics that made me sick, I had a bit of time to stitch since I couldn't do much else. So I have a few finishes to post :)

I had promised to post a picture of my Helga Mandl and Barbara Anna SAL, and totally forgot to put it up. I'm not quite as thrilled with it as I thought I'd be when the SAL first started. My problem is that I need a picture to make sense. At first this one did, but as I stitched the other parts, it felt more like a bunch of cute pictures thrown together without any type of a story behind it. I tried and tried to make sense of it, but haven't been able to. If someone knows or has any suggestions of how it all ties together, I'd appreciate hearing from you. You know, it's funny. I never knew why I picked what I do to stitch until doing this piece.

My goal was to get 4 WIPs/UFOs finished this year. I'm going to make that and pass it. For some reason, I'm really drawn to finishing things from "The Box" that holds those pieces that have been put aside for one reason or another.

This finish is called "Sneak Zucchini Nite" and was a free chart from Just Another Button Company with the purchase of the buttons. The Needlecraft Corner had the whole kit on clearance last year that cost about the same as just purchasing the buttons. Well, since it was such a reasonable price this design just had to be stitched for our home! There has always been a standing joke in our area, that when you are tired of your squash, you would sneak and leave it on your neighbor's porch to get rid of it. :) Thus, the reason it just HAD to be stitched. This design was stitched on 30 ct. R&R No Longer Blue linen. I started it last summer, and had put it aside thinking I'd have it finished by August.

I pulled out another UFO - SanMan Originals "Blooms", and was happily stitching away, when I realized that I was going to run out of thread for the lettering. No where in the instructions did it state that I would need 2 skeins of thread, and now the thread is discontinued. I did find another skein, but being hand-dyed, there was a BIG difference in the thread colors. I matched up the orange but got very frustrated, and tossed it back in the UFO pile. The worst part is I don't even like the color of the lettering threads and it doesn't look like the colors at all on the chart. The chart doesn't show any orange in it that I can see. Oh well.

This is probably on of my favorite finishes so far this year. It's "Hummingbird" from The Victoria Sampler and is stitched on Silkweaver's Potpourri 28ct. Jobelan. I've had the fabric in my stash for a long time. It was a piece that I got from the FOTM club (that was QUITE a while ago!) This piece was a real joy to stitch. I decided to leave off the word "Hummingbird" that went along the bottom left under the branch.

After that lovely new stitch, I went back to the WIP/UFO pile, and pulled out the Bent Creek Monthly Snappers. This makes my 7th finish on that piece - only 5 more to go!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Warm Slipper Socks

I came up with these slipper socks when I saw my teen running around the house in stocking feet. I decided to put away the wool and pull out some Red Heart yarn because to make these for her since Red Heart wears like nails. I'm posting my notes here in case you'd like to try it yourself. Please know, these are only notes and are not a complete pattern. You'll need knowledge on how to knit socks to follow it.

Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver
Needles: 3.25 mm
Gauge: 11 sts = 2" in st st

CO 44 sts.
K2P2 ribbing for 8 rows
Work heel of choice. I worked the heel on 20 stitches because my daughter has a narrow heel. To set up the heel, first I knitted across, then purled the next row. I chose the partridge eye for mine and was knit as follows:
Row 1: (Slip 1, k1) across row. turn
Row 2: sl 1, purl the rest of the stitches in row. This is the wrong side.
Do these 2 rows for 2 1/2".

To turn heel - you'll be working over the middle 10 stitches.
Row 1: Knit 15, ssk, turn.
Row 2: sl 1, purl 10, p2 together, turn
Row 3: sl 1 knit 10, p2 tog. turn
Repeat these 2 rows until you have 10 stitches left on needle. End with a purl row.

Pick up 15 stitches on each side. Decrease every other round until you end up with 44 stitches. I had to rearrange stitches to make them even again so that my toe would decrease evenly on each side of foot.

Since my daughter has a size 7.5 foot (US measurement) I knitted for 7-1/2 inches total foot length.

For toe - decrease 1 round, knit 2 rounds.
Row 1: decrease 1 round
Row 2 knit 1 round
Repeat the two rows until 16 stitches remain.
Graft toe closed.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Author Unknown

A weary mother returned from the store,
Lugging groceries through the kitchen door.
Awaiting her arrival was her 8 year old son,
Anxious to relate what his younger brother had done.

“While I was out playing and Dad was on a call,
T.J. took his crayons and wrote on the wall!
It’s on the new paper you just hung in the den.
I told him you’d be mad at having to do it again.”

She let out a moan and furrowed her brow,
“Where is your little brother right now?”
She emptied her arms and with a purposeful stride,
She marched to his closet where he had gone to hide.

She called his full name as she entered his room.
He trembled with fear–he knew that meant doom!
For the next ten minutes, she ranted and raved
About the expensive wallpaper and how she had saved.

Lamenting all the work it would take to repair,
She condemned his actions and total lack of care.
The more she scolded, the madder she got,
Then stomped from his room, totally distraught!

She headed for the den to confirm her fears.
When she saw the wall, her eyes flooded with tears.
The message she read pierced her soul with a dart.
It said, “I love Mommy,” surrounded by a heart.

Well, the wallpaper remained, just as she found it,
With an empty picture frame hung to surround it.
A reminder to her, and indeed to all,
Take time to read the handwriting on the wall.