Thursday, December 31, 2015

Coming Soon a few New Stamps in 2016

On the last day of December and the last day of 2015  I spent time writing a replies to letters that have been waiting patiently for me to have so real free time. The months of November and December keep me busy packing bubble mailers for shipping long into the the evenings but with the holidays fast becoming a memory these last few days of the month quiet down enough for me to pick up a pen some paper, a cup of tea and the time I need to write to some wonderful friends.

Here is a peek at some of the new stamps set to be released during 2016, they are in no particular order but my favorite of all so far it the Global Forever Moon stamp.

The Soda Fountain treats just make me smile
Then there is this lovely quilled heart stamp
my other favortie are these lovely Jack o Lanterns
And who could resist the beauty of a flower this appeals to the gardener in me
Not to be out done we have Pick-up trucks in colors to make you want to match your envelope to the stamp
and we can't forget our beloved pets, whether furry, feathered, fishy or hooved these are just adorable
but not nearly as adorable as this little girl who stole the hearts of America decades ago
and while tocuhing on Hollywood let us not forget that Star Trek will be celebrating 50 years and what a fun way to commemorate the anniversary than with a nifty set of postage stamps
I don't have release dates for any of the stamps but my daily trips to the post office will have me asking "any new stamps today?"

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Tea and Sunday Stitching

We are having another hot humid day here in central Florida with no signs of cooler temps to come. I did my morning walk at the park this morning stepping to the sounds of my own footsteps, chirping birds and scampering squirrels.  After my walk I stopped to pick up orange juice and the Sunday newspaper then went home to brew a cup of tea.

I picked up block number four of the Hocuspocusville and put in a few hand embroidery stitches to get my  Slow Sunday Stitching underway and I will link my post here at Kathy's Quilts
where you can see what other bloggers are hand stitching 
Morgana's Apothecary block 4
Once again I decided to begin hand embroidery on the sign which seems to take me forever, I'm in no hurry and taking it slow is the point of Slow Sunday Stitching isn't it?  

I love the relaxation hand stitching provides, my breathing slows, my mind rest with each passage the needle makes through the fabric.  I almost feel the same calm when I do yoga which isn't as often as I like but plan to remedy that in the new year.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Time to relax

Here we are the day after Christmas, all the hustle and bustle of the last few weeks are oveer and we settle back into our daily routine of living, well maybe not so fast, after all it is the weekend and to me weekends are made for slower living, or so we hope to slow down and relax after the hustle of the work week.

The morning here started off foggy, I love the misty mysterious clouds of fog that settle over the land

slowly lifting the reveal what we already knew was hidden beneath it. I like to feel the damp mositure settle on my face while walking through the fog which I did this morning for a short mile walk around my neighborhood, I didn't want to risk driving I've learned here in Florida when there is fog its a free for all when driving, those red lights go ignored and I've come close too many times to being smashed by thoughtless drivers who pretend they can't see the red light.

I don't know about you but I like to settle down with a nice cup of tea on a foggy morning perhaps
pull out some stitching, a good book or some stationery to write a few letters, I plan to do a little of each today.

The afternoon of Christmas Eve, my son and I drove to the  Fort White Florida area for a hike in the Ichetucknee Springs State Park, we did the shorter trail at the south entrance, since it was the late afternoon I will return for the north trail another time and early enough to explore the nearby down town High Springs.  

Christmas day my son and I went to the movies to see Sisters, it was quite funny. It seems going to the movies on Christmas day has become somewhat of a tradition for us.  On Monday the 21st several of us went to see the newest Star Wars movie,  the theater was packed but yesterday the parking lot was no doubt for those that hadn't seen Star Wars yet.  In all my years of going to this particular movie theater I have never seen the parking lot as full as it was. It did help me get a higher step count on my Fitbit.

The very warm weather we have been having here in central Florida has confused the sleeping garden and early last week buds began to bloom on the rhododendron
on Christmas Day they decided to show themselves completely, I have to say they are lovely I just hope the other buds stay closed for a few more weeks.

I think later today its off to the beach for a nice long walk to work off  those extra calories from all the cookies, cakes, pies pizza and lasagne eatten this week.

Friday, December 25, 2015

To all of you Merry Christmas

A little Florida style Christmas wish

And a little stitchy wish to all of you for a very Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Colorful Expression

This morning was my final trip to the post office to drop off the final packages for shipping until after Christmas, the Ebay and Amazon shops are closed for the holidays. Now I have a chance to breathe for a few days, the first thing I did was run to Joann's to buy a pair of stress relief gloves to see if I notice any improvement with my fingers and hands, I am skeptical because they are so light I can't imagine how they work but I will give them a try. One thing I will say they are much lighter and less bulky then the wrist splints I've had to wear in the past.

So while in Joann's I moved past an aisle and double backed not believing what I saw, pastel Spring and Easter decorations and a corner with some Valentine's Day items. Geez it's not even Christmas yet!  Put those pastels away for a few weeks and let us enjoy the winter.  I know, I know when you are dealing in hand crafted items as well as retail you have to get things out months in advance otherwise you won't have time to make that spring or summer quilt, or knit that June wedding shawl or the perfect Mother's day gift but really couldn't it wait a few more days, January is right around the bend.

Oh well off the soapbox and take a look at this sweet and colorful item I picked up yesterday at the Gallery East.  Isn't she just lovely?
The artist is Teri Stillwaugh and the gallery had a wonderful selection of these pieces to chose from, I love color so I chose this sentiment. and I know I will be purchasing a few more.  Here is a close up and yes that is a paint brush sticking up from
the top of her head.  I was reading about this artist on the gallery site and found out she has given classes on her "Brush Expressions"  before so I hope its offered again this coming year I would love to know how to make my own.

 I have been wanting to take the silk scarf painting class offered at the gallery but time, schedule and other commitments just didn't make it possible this year. There are  new classes coming up in January so next week I need to register since the class is limited in size and I would prefer a daytime class. Since it worked so well for 2015 I am going to continue on my quest to be more creative again for 2016, there are other classes offered at the gallery and I plan on taking a few. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Welcome Winter!

I wish you all a very merry Solstice, Yule, Christmas, Midwinter. Whatever and however you choose to celebrate, may these coming weeks be filled with blessings and the spirit of the season.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Block Three complete and a little Slow Stitching Sunday Mystery.

Well it was a slow and steady and often delayed blocked but the Hocuspocusville quilt block number three is all stitched.  It was a real labor of love and last Sunday I was able to put in quite a bit of work.
Block three
I have to press it before I store it with the other blocks and I have to say my idea of using black seed beads along the top of the fence post and along the sides of the ladder worked out niceley.
Beaded Fence and Ladder
I finished the beading and the rest of the block on Friday evening and boy did I have a case of eye strain yesterday that left me barely able to see out of my left eye.  Blocked number 4 is waiting in the wings for a Slow Sunday start and I will be linking this post over at Kathy's Quilts were all sorts of lovely hand stitching is happening on Slow Sunday Stitching

The weather here finely turned cooler with temps dropping to the low 40's for the last two nights, though it will be back in the 80's mid week. Any cooler weather is always welcome here in Florida after all it stay so hot for so long.

Before I leave I want to post a photo that contains a treasure from the past, a few days ago I was looking through some storage bins for something else I needed when I came across this little gold box that once upon a time I purchased nylon stocking in, I am a saver of small boxes knowing one day it would be put to good use.
Well that's all for now, I will reveal the contents of the mystery box on the first Slow Stitching Sunday of the New Year.
In the mean time I wish you all a Very Happy Winter Solstice, Blessed Yuletide, Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Slowly making progress

Another Sunday has come around and I have to confess I didn't get much done on block three since last Sunday, but slow progress is certainly better than no progress.
I will try to make time for some stitching later this afternoon, this time of the year is busy for most of us so I may have to get a little creative in making that time.  I will be linking up once again over at Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching

Thursday, December 10, 2015

December's New Moon Ort Report

Another New Moon is on the horizon so its time once again for a picture of my Orts for this months TUSAL Report. Not sure what a TUSAL is click the link and let Daffycat tell you all about it.

I have a nice little pile of Orts mostly from the Holly King and block three of the HocusPocusville Quilt.
December Orts
I made good progress on Sunday slow stitching and hope to have this block completed shortly as long as my fingers hold up.
bubble and brew block 3
Well that's it for my December Tusal report, its been a wonderful year of stitching and taking part in the Totally Useless Stitch A Long motivates me to stitch more.
Here is a shot of my orts jar filled with most of my threads for the year, there is still room for more which I plan to add in the last weeks of this year. Its been a very good stitching year for me and for the up coming new year I will carry over my goal of last year to add more creative activity in my life.  
Taking part in the TUSAL and Slow Sunday Stitching over at Kathy's Quilts ( ) has really helped keep me motivated not only to stitch more but to venture into other areas I haven't tried before. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

A little stitching...

I didn't make much progress on block three this week, I am hoping to make a little more progress albeit slow, but then isn't that what Sunday slow stitching is all about.

Early this week I woke to a very stiff numb hand which hasn't happened to me in a long time, the numbness and tingling wouldn't allow me to hold onto a needle without pain so I spent a few days letting my hands rest.  I did manage to get the hat all stitched last Sunday so today I'm going to try for the Bubble & Brew banner.

I will be linking up here for Slow  Sunday  Stitching

Saturday, December 5, 2015

A surprise package arrived today.

Today I recieved a sweet surprise all the way from the UK. This sweet felt snowman ornament from Jacquie.
I happen to collect snowman so I was thrilled to see him smiling up at me when I opened the envelope.
Don't you just love the stitching detail on the carrot nose.  I wonder if one of Santa's Eleves whispered in Jacquies ear that I love snowman.
Even the backing fabric makes me smile. Thank you Jacquie for your thoughtfulness and sending me this sweet little ornament, I will cherish it always.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


Things are getting  bit crazy here this time of year, I am packing and shipping most of the day so my post will be short and sweet, or silly.

Monday, November 30, 2015

A Cozy Mystery Challenge for the New Year

I found another reading challenge for 2016 this one is for Cozy Mysteries which I find thoroughly entertaining.
 The link above will take you to the site if this is a reading challenge for you.

To find out exactly what a cozy mystery is, check out This site is dedicated to cozy mysteries and does a great job of defining them as well as giving a list of cozy mysteries. This challenge is NOT restricted to what is on their list, it's just to be used as a guideline in case you need some hints on what to read.

So, here are the rules...

1. Choose the level you wish to participate:

Level 1 - Snoop - Read at least 6 books

Level 2 - Investigator - Read 7-12 books

Level 3 - Super Sleuth - Read 13-20 books

Level 4 - Sleuth Extraordinaire - Read 21 or more books

2. The challenge runs from January 1, 2016 and ends December 31, 2016.

3. You don't have to choose your books in advance. If you do, you can change your list at any time during the year. Books can overlap with other challenges.

4. Books can be in any format - paper, audio, all counts!

5. You don't have to post a review, but I'm sure others would love to know about the books you are reading and may even want to add it to their reading lists. 

I'm going to choose Level 3-Super Sleuth I don't have any books in mind just yet but I'm sure I'll have a few on hand once the New Year rolls around.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Color Coded Reading challenge for 2016

During the next few weeks I plan to line up a few reading challenges for 2016, the first one I chose is:

2016 Color Coded Challenge

Here are the rules:
*Read nine books in the following categories.
1. A book with "Blue" or any shade of Blue (Turquoise, Aquamarine, Navy, etc) in the title/on the cover. 
2. A book with "Red" or any shade of Red (Scarlet, Crimson, Burgandy, etc) in the title/on the cover.
3. A book with "Yellow" or any shade of Yellow (Gold, Lemon, Maize, etc.)in the title/on the cover.
4. A book with "Green" or any shade of Green (Emerald, Lime, Jade, etc) in the title/on the cover.
5. A book with "Brown" or any shade of Brown (Tan, Chocolate, Beige, etc) in the title/on the cover.
6. A book with "Black" or any shade of Black (Jet, Ebony, Charcoal, etc) in the title/on the cover.
7. A book with "White" or any shade of White (Ivory, Eggshell, Cream, etc) in the title/on the cover.
8. A book with any other color in the title/on the cover (Purple, Orange, Silver, Pink, Magneta, etc.).
9. A book with a word that implies color (Rainbow, Polka-dot, Plaid, Paisley, Stripe, etc.).
* Any book read from January 1 through December 31, 2016 will count.

*Crossovers with other challenges are fine.

I love colors so I thought this challenge would be great for me. If you are interested in joining this challenge here is a link to the host site

Stitching Slow Sunday Block Three

The last Sunday of November, this month has gone by  in a flash, the same cannot be said about my stitching. Luck for me this is a Sunday for Slow Stitching.

Here is what I have stitched so far on Block number 3 (Hocuspocusville quilt) I started stitching the door and moved onto the roof since about six this morning. That little sign took me nearly 2 hours to stitch.
  I don't know if you can see the little circles along the ladder sides and above the balcony fence but those were supposed to be dots for french knots, I have trouble seeing the dots after stitching for a while so I traced the circles that were on the pattern, what I plan to do is use black seed beads instead of french dots for two reasons, my french knots often resemble small cauliflowers and when I first bought the pattern I had planned to use beads on some of the blocks to make it more my own.  I left the cat unstitched for now because I have a few ideas running through my head.

I will be getting back to stitching this block this afternoon after I do a few errands and read the newspaper. In the meantime I'll post this to  for Slow Sunday  Stitching.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sunday Slow stitching projects a new beginning and a completed stitchery

Today I am homesick for my northern roots, it's late November, less than a week till Thanksgiving and I long for the crisp cool air, rapidly falling leaves of assorted colors and the familiar surroundings of New Jersey, instead I'm in the land of perpetual green aka Florida. Today I can fool myself just a litte, it's a gray rainy autumn day, I'm inside where the ar conditioning is cool so it feels like autumn, and the leaves of my sycamore tree have turned the usual paperbag brown and mostly fallen to the ground so it looks like a northen autumn day until you step outside and are hit in the face with the humidity and warm temps and know it is autumn in Florida. After twenty odd years in Florida I am always surprised when the homesickness grabs hold of me.

On this rainy Sunday I have started stitching the hand embroidery for the third block of the Hocuspocusville quilt. I had this all ready to begin a few weeks ago but I started on the Holly King and just kept on stitching. As you can see I'm off to a slow start but than thats what Sundays are all about, slowing down, resting and taking time to breathe and do some much loved hand stitching.

Here is a look at the Holly King, all the hand embroidery is done now I need to decide how I want to finish him.

 After looking at the piece for a while I think I should have crayon tinted his face so I decided to eventually make another.  I'm not sure if I mentiond this in a previous post, the pattern for the Holly King is from Urban Threads which offers patterns for hand and machine embroidery. Here is a link 
I plan to keep stitching on block three for today and I am linking up here once again for Slow Stitching Sunday

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Holly King

The hand embroidery is done on the Holly King piece now its time to decide whether to make a wall hanging a quilt block or something else.  I plan to make another one this time crayon tinting the face as well, but that won't be for a while.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

November TUSAL Report aka: Show your Orts

Well I'm a day late with my November New Moon TUSAL report but here are my scant orts since the last New Moon. If you are curious about my monthly ort reports jump on over to It's Daffy Cat's blog to learn all about The Totally Useless Stitch A Long (TUSAL) it really does motivate me to keep on stitching.
I'm feeling a lot better than I was yesterday and I'm hoping with more rest to get some stitching done tomorrow.  I have plans on Saturday to attend the Sarasota Renaissance Faire so I do need to shake this bronchitis, otherwise I'll have to try to make it on the 21st.

This is a short report for me I'm too tired so I'm off to lie down, next new moon I plan to have many more threads, perhaps with lots more colors.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Under the weather

I have been under the weather for a few days and yesterday that deep cough started so it was off to the doctor for a bronchitis check. today after sleeping away most of the day I still feel rather tired but thanks to antibiotics I'm not coughing as much.  I have managed to sit up for about thirty minutes but truth be told I'd rather be lying down.

I haven't done much of anything today except flip through the pages of a few magazines and catalogs that came in the mail this week.
a few favorites
The Farmer's Wife quilt book arrived yesterday and I hope to get a chance to really look it over in
the next day or so when reading a few lines doesn't make me want to close my eyes and sleep.  I don't have the energy to do any stitiching, though I don't think I could see the lines or keep my stitches straight even if I did.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Slowly Stitching the Holly King this Sunny Sunday

After two days walking around Pirate Gatherings and Medieval faires I can sure use a Slow Stitching Sunday and that is exactly what I plan to do today.

The Holly King will be the main focus of my stitching today as he is just a few hours away from being completely stitched.
I am looking forward to finishing this piece and beginning the next project for my greenman series in addition to the other projects I have planned. I am linking up here once again for Slow Stitching Sunday

With all the patterns I have been gathering over the last year I will be doing hand embroidery for the next decade or so I just hope my fingers hold up.

Yesterday I posted a feew photos of my visit to The Lady of the Lakes Medieval Faire today I'm going to post my one and only purchase, well besides the lemonade I bought.
Thistle Cloak Pin

This handcrafted Thistle cloak pin caught my eye as soon as I saw it and trust me when I say I snatched it right up, it was the only one of its kind on display.
Thistle close up
I'm sure it's the Scot in my bloodline that is partly responsible for my fondness of thistle motifs and I love when I can get the last of an item as the vendor pointed out.

Speaking of only one, on my Friday visit to the Pirate Gathering I purchased this little mermaid
again it was the only one available though the vendor did tell me she has another she's going to make into a pendant of some type.
back view
I love how the paint is worn away giving her a  weathered look, I haven't decided what I will do with her yet but I'm sure I will come up with something.

Well the Holly King is back in the hoop, my needles are threaded, waiting for my to begin stitching, I am off to slowly stitch my Sunday morning away.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

A day at the Medieval Faire

Here are a few photos from the Lady of the Lakes Medieval Faire I attended today. 
Royal Court
Village Ladies
The Queen and ladies in waiting
The Queen and her court attending the SCA sword exhibition. Love the lady on the left she appears to be nodding off, perhaps her tea is laced with a bit of mead.
Knights battle with long swords
Squire vs Knight
Jousting Knight
This is the first time I attended this Faire held in Tavares which is about an hour from where I live, it was a nice size event, the sun was shining and the November heat wave continued on.  

I enjoyed visiting the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) area thought I didn't snap any photos as I was too busy watching the blacksmith forge a few hooks and conversing with a woman at the kitchen area, they had just finished making cheese and butter.  

This is my favorite of the photos I snapped today a village woman
doing some hand embroidery, she was working the buttonhole stitch along the edge of the fabric.

Yesterday I attended the Pirate Gathering in St. Augustine but I forgot to grab the camera so no photos.  

Next weekend I'll be attending the Sarasota Renaissance Faire and I am hoping for cooler temperatures.