Monday, September 18, 2017

Fresh Flowers and Stitching a Labyrinth

A week after Hurricane Irma passed through we are keeping our eyes on hurricane Maria. Today was a lovely day full of sunshine after a cool morning that made taking my morning walk quite pleasant after a week hot sticky weather.

You can feel Fall approaching in subtle ways, the bright greens of summer begin to fade taking on an almost washed out look.  To help usher in the start of Autumn later this week I bought some fresh flowers from Publix to brighten my day.
I bought Sunflowers, yellow Chrysanthemums and red Roses, its like having a bouquet of sunshine on my table and those Chrysanthemums smell wonderful.

Yesterday I did a bit of hand embroidery but not on the Aine Sashiko project I thought I was going to be working on, I decided to work on a small Labyrinth pattern I am making for a friend.
She had admired one of my Labyrinth pieces a while back so I thought I would make her one for her birthday.  Speaking of birthday, there is a lovely vintage Happy Birthday pattern offered free over at Super Mom No Cape where I'll be linking this post, why don't you click the link here and take a look at what other bloggers are working on today.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Life little stitches and glitches

Things here are slowly returning to normal in my neighborhood after hurricane Irma blew through last weekend. Most of the debris has been bagged up and hauled off with just some smaller sticks and twigs to get while working in the garden. The gas stations locally have gas with normal wait lines so the lawn mower will get some use this week.

On a sad note my youngest sister is once again in the hospital waiting on a blood transfusion she was admitted again with uncontrollable bleeding and still have no idea what is going on with all the blood clots etc. I'm going to donate a pint of blood at my local bloodbank and have them ship it there to have on hand for her. That's one of the things I learned when I worked for the bloodbank, you can transfer a blood donation directly to the patient or even donate in her name which cuts the cost of the blood she gets.

On the stitching front I have taken slow stitching to new heights this week by not getting any stitching by hand done at all until yesterday evening when I was finally able to pull out the Aine kit 
the Aine kit
and put in a few stitches I snapped a photo mid stitch so I would remember to post it today for Slow Sunday Stitching which I will be linking up to today
a few stitches
Once I finish watering my plants this morning I intend to sit down and put in some serious stitching time.  Yesterday I wrote replies to several letters, finally put the new shelf unit in my laundry room and put up the blue drapes in my bedroom; all those items on my to do this weekend list are done.

A few day before the hurricane I did complete two more Witch bonnet girls for a total of 6, these are so cute I can't wait to put it all together but I think I will embellish each block first before I put them together.
2 more witch bonnet girls
On Thursday I ordered a new embroidery kit one of those Crabapple Hill studio patterns I love so much, it arrived yesterday.
The pattern
the floss and fabric
It is another of those cute Salem Quilt Guild patterns this one is Show and Tell, I decided to buy the kit which includes the floss and fabric so much easier to get it all together so I have everything set to go once I trace the pattern.  

Well that's about all the news for now, I hope if you were in the path of Irma life is getting back to normal for you.  Happy Slow Stitching to all of you.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

After the storm update

So Hurricane Irma blew through Florida leaving a path of destruction behind her.  By Sunday evening the hurricane made another turn and began to break down and rapidly began to lose steam. We were one of the few areas that didn't lose power.  My sister and great niece joined me to ride out the hurricane, she lives on the west coast and before the turn on Sunday was expected to be hit quite hard.  Her husband stayed behind with her dog with intention of joining us here if things got bad.

Yesterday my internet service was down for 12 hours a small inconvenience to say the least.  Today I filled 3 large black trash bags with tree debris and had every intention of mowing the grass except there isn't a gas station in the area with gas so it will have to wait.

I'm happy to say all of my potted plants I had placed in front of the garage survived, only one fell over which didn't even surprise me because it falls over all the time, I really need to transplant it.  I did lose the new growth on the top of my bamboo tree but I have replanted some of the pieces with hope some will take root and grow.

I didn't put the plants in the garage because the heat alone would have killed them, I did this a few years ago and the next day the plants were toast.

Well that's my after the storm update.  I hope all of you that were hit by Irma are safe.

Friday, September 8, 2017

While waiting out Hurricane Irma

It's hurricane season here in Florida and once again we are waiting for the storm to arrive, this one is a big one. After making donations to Texas we find ourselves facing the devastation that follows a storm such as Irma.

While waiting out the storm let me tell you what I have been up last weekend I visited my little sister to help celebrate her 55th birthday, we had a great visit and her husband grilled steaks and corn on the cob for dinner, my brother in law is a great cook and dinner was excellent as was the company and conversation.

My sister, Tessa and James
Tessa my great-niece insisted we all wear the party hats and how can you say no to such a cutie.  The cake was quite good unfortunately while clearing the table the remainder of the cake fell off the tray and hit the floor.
Also last week I found one of the Ocala Rocks painted stones in front of the post office I go to every day.

I had just finished reading an article a few days prior to finding the stone so when I saw it I knew exactly what it was, I brought it home to snap a few photos I plan to leave it at a local park next week after the storm.  I'm also planning to paint a few of my own stones to leave around the area.

I picked up some pretty sunflowers with all the rain and cloudy skies we are having I thought they would perk up the day, I love sunflowers next year I am going to try to grow them again.
I purchased the lovely quilted pot holder from Maria an artist over at Full Moon Fiber Art blog  I have it hanging above  my desk so I can see it while I type.

I just love the yellow beet in the center and the vintage fabrics used for the potholder.  I came across her blog a few weeks ago she makes some unique quilts and other items you may want to check out for yourself the link is above. 
I picked up two library books that were waiting for me on Tuesday morning both are non-fiction which is always a nice change from fiction.
I finished The Garden of New Beginnings by Abbi Waxman, it was one of those books that had me turning page after page to finish it definitely a good read.

I have the newest hand embroidery pattern on the light box ready to be traced onto my fabric, I have
not done much stitching over the last few weeks just giving my fingers tome to rest while I catch up on some letter writing and reading.  My hands have been tingling and losing feeling quite a bit so I'm doing my finger exercise and massaging my hands though I think with all the humidity and rain my fingers ache to the bone.

One of the last things to post about is the growth on one of my succulent plants Echeveria  has bloomed quite nicely.
This is the first time in decades I have had luck with succulent plants, I suspect it's because I have it outside.  I was supposed to replant into a terra cotta bowl but I think I'm going to plant them in a tea cup or other ceramic pot.
The rain has wrecked havoc with my other potted plants, the weeds in and around the pots are out of control.
Right now I have all the pots moved to the front of my garage hoping not to lose them during the hurricane winds over the weekend, I'm also hoping the weather will start to cool off so I can get some much needed shrub trimming done in the next week.

Well that's all for now, if you are in the path of the hurricane stay safe and keep dry.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Slowly Stitching August Away

This month has been moving through it's days faster than water through a sieve; I'm not at all sorry to see this month end, August weather in Florida can be brutal to say the least, hot days filled with sunshine and heavy gray clouds, humidity so thick it feels like you're parting a veil just to breathe.

I have my newest project set up for stitching, it's a Sashiko project from a kit I purchased a few months ago.
The kit included the printed indigo fabric, a packet of needles and the hank of white DMC perle cotton thread.  I'm using a light blue chambray cotton to back the indigo fabric for more stability since the dark fabric feel thin and I'm not sure how it will stitch with the perle cotton.
The kit can be found at this Etsy shop
I loved the pattern when I saw it, Aine as it is called with it's Celtic knotwork look just called to me as you may have noticed over the years many of my hand embroideries are of Celtic knot work or symbols.  Aine is the name of a Celtic/Irish goddess and  I have made quite a few hand embroidered goddesses over the last year or two.

Speaking of goddess embroidery here is the latest goddess project I completed this week:
Goddess stitched
She started as a simple sketch of this lovely little figurine I have, the figurine is an Abby Willowroot design.
Goddess figurine
A few weeks ago I was listening to the rain fall while recovering from a nasty bout of finger pain so I grabbed my sketchbook and began to sketch, after my sketch was done I thought to embroider her. I gave her a spiral labyrinth look to her head, the actual figurine has a spiral on the other side of it.  I left off some of the lines and didn't add the stars to the embroidered piece.
sketch of statue
I scanned my sketch to my computer and printed it out on my favorite stitch and wash away product, then found the fabric I wanted a few days later I would chose the colors and begin the stitching process.  I used variegated embroidery floss throughout except for the moons for those I used DMC satin floss.

I have another two witch bonnet sue blocks put together and a few more waiting to be pieced I decided to wait until all the blocks are done before I begin embellishing them.
witch bonnet sue blocks
I will be linking up today at Kathy's Quilts for slow Sunday Stitching stop on over to see what other bloggers are slow stitching today

I just finished reading a lovely book  by Kathleen Rooney titled Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk  I couldn't put it down until I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer.
I also started the newest Susan Wittig Albert book The Last Chance Olive Ranch  I love her China Bayles mysteries, what began as cozy mysteries over the years have evolved  into some well written mystery stories filled with information on various aspects of herbs and herb gardening, these books inspired me to expand my own interest in herbal medicine and herb gardening years ago.  The photo is my last haul of books for the library, I'll start the Garden of Small beginnings later this week.

Speaking of gardening the near daily rains come in torrential down pours which is great when it comes to watering my plants and keeping my bamboo plants growing by the foot. Unfortunately the bamboo isn't the only thing growing by leaps and bounds in my garden, after so much rain the weeds are going to be jungle height and thoughts of replacing the weed whacker with a machete has crossed my mind more than once this week.

I would like to plant one of the small dormant beds this autumn, I don't feel the connection to the earth as much tending a potted plant as I do when I am bent over a garden bed taking in all the beauty the scent of the sun warming the plants, seeing them grow, pulling the never ending weeds growing whether it rains or not, so I think it's time I prepare at least one of the beds for a Fall garden.

Until then I will spend my days stitching away on one project or another in my free time, and reading a good book or three.

Monday Update:
My Summer of Love challenge piece has been completed I added two tabs for hanging, I missed the deadline to send the actual piece (like many others I sent just a photo) now it will be another prayer flag for the garden.

It measures 16x17 inches with 3 inch tabs it is not hemmed as prayer flags are meant to unravel over time.  I missed the deadline to send it because I had circled the wrong day on my calendar to mail it by, such a silly mistake but it happens.  

I forgot to mention it above I plan to add embroidery to the corners of the new goddess piece or surround her with a flowering vine.  I have a few ideas brewing in my
head I just need to stir things up, lay the designs out over the fabric so I can choose what feels right.  I know I should go with what I originally planned but that never seems to happen.  
I'm linking up today at Super Mom No Cape come take a look at what other bloggers are hand embroidering today: