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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Mid January Ramblings

The weather here has been especially nice the last week or so with some rain on the way this weekend.  My rhododendron has begun to show some promising buds and before I know it she will be full of delicate white blooms.
The lemon and lime trees have buds showing too and before you know it I'll have fresh fruits from the trees.
lime buds
lemon buds
 The poinsettia my son bought me for Christmas is still full and lush, this is one on the nicest poinsettias I've had usually by now most of the foliage has fallen of and I forgot to cover this plant when we had the freeze a few weeks ago.
This week I made it over to the local library to pick up a few books that were waiting for me, I just love requesting books ahead of time so I don't go browsing for items that have been checked out or are in another branch. Here's what I'm reading this week:
On Living-Kerry Egan
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga-Deepak Chopra
Eyes Like Leaves-Charles de Lint
I joined the 2017 Goodread's reading challenge here is a link to check it out:
https://www.goodreads.com/challenges/5493-2017-reading-challenge

I chose 25 books to read for the year, for me I'd like half to be new to me authors. This is the only reading I joined so far this year. I like Goodreads I have been a member for years my only problem is I tend to forget to log in the books I read, I keep a spread sheet for the books I read each year so when I hop onto Goodreads I update the books I've read from my list though sometimes I forget to log what I'm reading onto the spreadsheet too. I will be a fourth of the way into a book when the story seems familiar, I just may have to go back to recording the books into a little notebook ha! like I haven't missed recording books that way too.

The other day I brought my cell phone along on my morning walk this is the trail I walk most days.
What I love about the trail is all the winding paths along the trail and the exercise equipment stations along the way, here are a few of them.
The wooded area is one of my favorite spots to walk when the sun is high and you can get a little relief from the shade. This photo shows the start of the wooded area.
More equipment in the wooded area the shade makes working with these machines pleasant on a warm day.
I love the leaves across the path it reminds me we get autumn here in Florida and leaves do fall from the trees. Early in the morning the scent of wet leaves brings back fond memories of autumns gone by.
The leaves here are dry since it was later in the morning when I snapped the photos,  I'll leave you with blue skies and wishes for a great day.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Stitching Along

The progress on the Elemental Goddess embroidery is coming alone at a nice pace the fourth goddess
elemental goddess
has been stitched so I'll start stitching the moons later.  I'm going to add a few symbols too and I'm shaking my head wondering how I forgot to draw them on before hand, well it isn't the first time I added something after I started.

The weather is warming up here in Florida during the day today it was 60 tonight though we are set to drop to about 40. I did get in my walk today happily not coughing too much I think waiting till afternoon when it was warmer help keep the coughing to a minimum.

I'm linking my post over at Super Mom No Cape for the Monday linky party. Drop on over and have a look and if you like to embroider there is always a free vintage embroidery pattern to download.  http://www.supermomnocape.com/vintage-embroidery-monday-stitchery-link-party-92/

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Getting Hygge while Slow Sunday Stitching

Yesterday it was one of those mornings when the world is the color and consistency of old wet flannel, I love to walk in the winter. Lately bundling up against the cold, putting on my gloves and off I go. I love the bare, stark trees, the sounds of the birds and watching the critters digging for and burying food away for the winter. I like to collect things along the way bits of greenery, pine cones, feathers, rocks etc. I have a big glass bowl that holds my treasures when I get back home. Coming back to a warm home, warm blankets, a warm drink…well it’s just a Hygge moment! Now you may be shaking your head wondering cold in Florida is she off her nut, and what the heck is hygge? Yes it gets cold here in Florida and after a night of heavy rain storms the wind kicked up and the temps dropped fast while I walked the track at the park the blowing wind made it feel like it should have been snowing.

Do you want to know what is Hygge? The Danish word 'hygge' (pronounced 'hooga') translates roughly to 'cosiness'. Hygge….a Danish concept of coziness, joy, family, food and a complete sense of comfort and well being. Hygge is more than a cozy room full of candles, company and good food. Hygge is a philosophy; a way of life that has helped Danes understand the importance of simplicity, time to unwind and slowing down the pace of life. So hygge may have started there, but you can definitely start practicing it at home! Create space and time to do nothing but enjoy the little things with family and friends and perhaps some hand stitching or quilting to chase the cold away.

Speaking of hand stitching this week I started on a small project of Goddesses done in the colors of the four elements.
Elemental Goddesses
I like this little goddess piece not to be confused with the Calamoondala piece I made a few weeks ago, very similar don't you think?
Calamoondala
I will be posting today at Kathy's Quilts where you can click over to see what lovely projects other talented bloggers are working on today. 

I'm all but over the bronchitis, the lingering cough that hangs on for a few weeks is less and less frequent each day and the crazy weather doesn't help things, the day before yesterday I spent a few hours at the beach soaking up the sun and getting in a little hand embroidery, I was dressed in capri pants and a tee shirt, today I was wearing a hoodie over my shirt and gloves to keep my fingers warm. It will be cold for a few days, night temps dropped to 29 degrees last night, by Wednesday we will be back to the upper 70's. (77).

I mentioned in December that I would be taking part in the 1 Year of Stitches 2017 challenge where you make at least one stitch a day the link is here:
I also decided to take part in A Year in Stitches for 2017 and you try to embroider at least once a day the link to the Facebook Group is here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ayearinstitches


There are no set rules or guidelines for either of the challenges mostly its to get you to embroider on a daily basis though you don't have to stitch every day its all up to you. You don't need experience or you can be an expert, you may post progress of your work on the Facebook groups, Instagram and your own blog but it's not a requirement. For me taking part in the challenges keeps me motivated to stitch which help improve my hand embroidery over all. I want this to be a stitch heavy year for me so I will be eager to see my own progress as well as everyone’s progress in the groups.   

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year a few new goals and Slow Sunday Stitching

A Happy New Year to Everyone!

We are starting a whole new year today, a blank page to be filled in as you choose. If you have followed my blog over the years you know I don't make New Year resolutions to me it's like setting myself up for failure or at least disappointment.  I set for my set goals I want to achieve for the year ahead.  Most of the time these work out well and I achieve most of my goals which gives me a small sense of accomplishment.  Not so in 2016 which started out strong and then by mid February fizzled into a train wreck that seemed to be endless. Not this year I tell myself, but we all know how life tosses in a few curve balls when we don't expect it.

Never one to give up I have a few goals for the New Year, the first and foremost is to regain my health and physical fitness, I smile wryly while I type this because I am on day 4 of a Z pack for bronchitis which started as a sore throat a few days before Christmas than by mid week that deep cough that plagues me worsened, but this time I didn't wait weeks for "my cold"  to go away, by day 3 of the heavy cough and slight fever I called the doctor.  I'm happy to say I am feeling so much better than I did a few days ago.

I will continue to pursue my love of hand embroidery which gives me such a sense of peace and calm I feel as if I've spent the time meditating.  I'm happy to say I spent the last evening of December putting in the final hand embroidery stitches in the last block, number 12 for Hocuspocusville Quilt.
 I will work on putting the quilt top together some time this year but for now I want to move on to another project. Today I will link up over at Kathy's Quilts blog for Slow Sunday Stitching here:
https://kathysquilts.blogspot.ca/2017/01/happy-new-year-at-slow-sunday-stitching.html  and on Monday be sure to check out http://www.supermomnocape.com/vintage-embroidery-monday-stitchery-link-party-91/

Later today I will begin working on the 1 Year of Stitches:2017 hand embroidery project, where you simply make at least one stitch every day.   If you are interested in joining or just curious to see what its all about here is a link http://www.brwnpaperbag.com/1-year-of-stitches-2017

So yes 2017 is going to be focused mainly on getting better control of my health, getting back to increasing my level of physical activity for a more fit and hence a healthier body. But I have other plans for 2017 too, continue with my needle arts, travel more outside of Florida and take long weekends for me time.

A few other goals I have:

Purge more stuff I haven't used in the last six months,  I have been doing this for a few years now, I feel if I haven't used by now I probably won't. As I've grown older I have learned I need less stuff.

Continue on from last year: each month locate one new trail in a state park, preserve, conservation area in Florida hike it.

Read at least 5 new to me authors. 


Travel throughout Florida to visit the downtown square or main streets in small towns and cities, browse the shops and art galleries. This is another continuation from last year which I enjoyed so much I intend to do it more often,

Well that's a few of the goals I have set for 2017 I'm sure as the year passes I will have found a few more things I would like to achieve.  I didn't plan anything for the garden this year that will come as time and health allows, I have faced disappointment too often with the garden to want to even think of it as a goal. One thing I will say is it will do better than last year, even if I can only spend 15 minutes pulling out weeds,

I wish you all a wonderful 2017.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Happy Winter Solstice!

The first day of winter for me conjures up visions of snow falling gently covering everything in a carpet of white.

When in reality here in Florida its more like this.


But in my heart I hold fast the memories of snowy fields, warm mittens and the sound of children laughing through the snow.

Happy First Day of Winter!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Slow Sunday Stitching December 18th and Monday Link up Party

It has been a very busy week as I pull and pack items for shipping each day to keep all my customers happy. This time of the year is such a busy time for all of us so trying to make time for some much needed stitching time gets a bit creative and nearly impossible.

I did manage to get a start on the last block for Hocuspocusville and I will take a little time today to put in a few more stitches.
block 12 started
I removed the stitch and wash away project from the little goddess mandala project I was working on and you can see how much I chose to leave off from the original piece.
The piece still needs to be pressed and finished but overall I like the look of the simple hand embroidered outline. Below is the original piece where you can see all the moons I decided to leave off.
Yesterday I received a few small packages in the mail, one from my friend K in California who made these sweet little Christmas coasters. She retired from teaching this summer and has enrolled in a few sewing classes.
The other package contained a rainbow of perle embroidery floss for a future project I will be working on.  I don't normally use perle cotton when I hand embroider so it will be interesting to see if I notice any real difference when I am handling the threads.
A perle rainbow
The perle cotton is DMC number 5 which feels thin enough to get through the eye of some of my needles. I will experiment to see if I will work with a single thread or two or more.  I usually use 2 strands when I work with 6 strand embroidery floss, years ago I preferred working with 3.

I will be linking up with Kathy's Quilts for the slow Sunday stitching post. https://kathysquilts.blogspot.ca/2016/12/slow-sunday-stitching_18.html

My last bit of stitching news I have is I am going to join  1 year of stitches 2017 here is a link if you are curious:
http://www.brwnpaperbag.com/1-year-of-stitches-2017/
I like project, blogs and groups that keep me hand stitching, so this hand embroidery project looks to be right in step and a fun way to start off the New Year.

Monday Update:
My progress on block 12 is slow and steady, just the way I like it.  I just now realized I started stitching this on the right to left, after I finish stitching the window I'll move the work over in the hoop.
I'll be joining the linky party at Super Mom No Cape today a place where talented bloggers show what they are working on too come have a look.
  http://www.supermomnocape.com/vintage-embroidery-monday-stitchery-link-party-89/