Sunday, June 25, 2017

June is Flying by time for Slow Stitching on Sunday

This month is just zooming by I can't believe we are in the last week of the month, where does the time go?

We have had a mixture of sun, clouds and rain for most of the month, in fact as of last Friday we had 17 days of rain out of 19. Which is quite helpful when its not coming down in buckets and flooding parking lots and causing sinkholes to pop up.  This is June in Florida under the influence of a tropical storm which last week was known as Cindy.

My stitching has been slow going this week I'm making progress on the Summer of Love challenge piece and as expected rethinking my whole design.
DMC 3072 inside peace
I used DMC 3072 embroidery floss for the inside of the peace symbol, my 3 floss selection is The Whiter Shade of Pale. I plan to have the outside stitched later today.
my  DMC floss choice
I love the look of them, to me they give the illusion of faded fabrics from the past, when I first started reading about this challenge I could picture the clothing from 1967 and my design began to take hold I read through the information a few times and it became clearer to me what I wanted to create, I needed to make a few changes to my design and the colors would work perfectly.

I will be linking up at Kathy's Quilts

Now I need to get my beach proof project box ready so I can take my work along on vacation and keep it sand free.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Welcome Summer

                                       Happy First Day of Summer
The first day of summer brings me back to my childhood days of eagerly waiting for the last school bell to ring signaling the end of the school year and endless days of sunshine, tree climbing, berry picking, trips to the beach, chasing fireflies, skinned knees and playing outdoors with every kid in the neighborhood from dawn till dark.

While I may no longer get those skinned knees, climb trees or play outdoors from dawn til dark, I do take trips to the beach, I'd chase fireflies if there were any here in Florida.  I do spend as much time outdoors as possible, though usually in the early part of the day to beat the summer heat most of my playing outside the gym or frolicking at the beach is with needle and thread or a good book both of which give me as much pleasure as those activities I did as a child.

Wishing all of you a safe and happy summer!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Cloudy Sunday Skies and Slow Stitching

A few days ago my youngest sister posted on Facebook she was in the hospital with blood clots in her heart and lungs and an aneurysm in her heart, complications of the blood thinners her doctor put her on for a blood clot in her leg a few days prior.  Oh and she recently had a heart attack that she didn't know she had. ( I'm familiar with that one myself).
She is currently in ICU and wreaking havoc with her IV pulled out twice while she was trying to get comfortable, twice her husband hit the emergency call button in error and she is ticked off because she can't have salt or caffeine ugh yeah you are a heart patient yesterday she ranted because they didn't give her ketchup.  At least she is keeping her sense of humor about her while she endures endless testing and blood transfusions and I used to think I was a difficult patient.  I am but that's another story for another day.  So while I am posting today on a positive note with plans made everything can change in a flash.

On the stitching front after more tweaking than I care to admit I have finally begun the stitching on the Summer of Love Stitch at Home Challenge, here is a little peek at my progress:
a good start
The progress on the Zenbroidery Peace Symbol is progressing nicely despite my apprehension of the fabric stiffness I really enjoy stitching with it. I am using mostly variegated embroidery floss:
stitching along
A little over a week ago I purchased some lovely hand dyed threads/floss from an Etsy shop, the colors are just beautiful and the threads reminded me so much of the seaside I just had to have them.
Beach Colors
The assorted threads are from a sampler packet the colors just spoke to me whispering sandy beaches, tide pools and sea shells:

And the single blue just says ocean to me so I will be drafting a few designs over the next few weeks.
Here is a link to the Etsy shop.  I will be visiting it again soon to buy more since one can never have too much embroidery floss or fibers.

In a few weeks I will be heading to down to the gulf coast of Florida for some rest and relaxation on Sanibel Island for a much needed vacation. So yesterday I headed out to Barnes and Noble to pick up a book or two, I had one book in mind that I wanted to get and I'd see what else caught my attention, I had my membership card and two 20% off coupons in purse, I just love a bargain.  So I browsed and found the book I planned to buy thinking it would make a good beach read:
I found a few other books my guilty pleasure three cozy mysteries to crack open when my fingers are too sore or stiff to stitch. 
Then I headed over to the crafts section to see what was on the shelves in the embroidery category, not much two books I already had and a copy of Embroidered Mandalas which wasn't in very good shape, some of the pages were bent and wrinkled, some felt loose too beat up to buy so I passed on it but did jot down the title.  I headed for the checkout with my books, handed the clerk my member card and to my disappointment didn't have my coupons with me, I had grabbed two JoAnn's coupons and stuffed them in my bag.  I did save ten percent and I have my beach read and a few others so all is good.
When I arrived home there sitting on my side table are the coupons, all was not lost, I went to Barnes and Noble website and ordered the embroidered mandalas book, which online was 30% off, I had my 20% off coupon and membership gives me free shipping.  Oh I do love a bargain,
The Mandalas book has 25 iron on designs to use in spiral bound book so I can easily iron the design onto my fabric.  I don't know about you but when I trace patterns with intricate designs I always miss something or my hand goes awry and the older I get the worse my tracing is.  Here is a link for the book.

I'll need to prepare my stitchery projects to bring along with me on vacation though I may just start a new project or two to work while I'm away.   
This sweet little piece on a hexie I may trace and work on vacation is from the new issue of American Quilter magazine arrived with my Yoga journal I haven't had the time to read them so I'll pack and take along with me.
The cover on the AQ reminded me one day I want to make a Mariners Compass quilt may be this is the year.  I am linking up at Kathy's Quilts today for Slow Sunday Stitching here is a link why don't you hop on over and take a look at what other bloggers are slowly stitching today:

MONDAY JUNE 19th UPDATE on Summer of Love:
My stitching was certainly slow yesterday but I did get further on with the Summer of Love challenge piece.
The vines are complete and several of the leaf sections are done. Today I will be working to finish the remainder of the leaves then move unto the peace symbol. I'm linking my post over at Super Mom No Cape:
Where other bloggers are working on hand embroidery projects stop on over and have a look.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Started Peace Zenbroidery

On Sunday evening I finally got started on the Zenbroidery Peace Symbol. I purchase the kit a few months ago but as always other projects came along or needed finishing so this one fell by the wayside until now.
Peace started
I wouldn't exactly call this a kit, the kit included the printed fabric, a needle and stitching ideas. I'm
the kit
not exactly pleased with the fabric which is 50/50 cotton/polyester and rather stiff I thought about washing it first then it dawned on me the printed lines would wash away, at least I hope they will wash out.  I thought of adding a backing fabric piece for the stitches as I do with many of my other hand embroidery projects but that idea fell by the wayside too.
I pressed the piece once again before I began stitching and when I passed my needle through the fabric I was quite surprised how easily it went through, the stiffness I thought would make it harder to stitch was quite easy to stitch.  Some of the lines are a bit heavy so if they don't wash out I will need to use more strands of thread so working with 3, 4 and may be even 6 strands at times should be interesting.  I thought about crayon tinting the piece before I stitched which would have helped cover some of the black lines. but I want to experiment using fill in stitches like I used on some of the leaves of the winter goddess.
leaves with fill in stitches

I don't have any floss colors pulled from my stash for the Peace symbol I'm just going to go with the flow and whatever color strikes my fancy at that moment I'll use.  I will be joining the linky party over at Super Mom No Cape today pop on over and take a look at what other bloggers are working on and pick up a free hand embroidery pattern, today is shells and fish.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Winter Goddess Hand Embroidery is Complete

Once again it is Sunday and time for some slow stitching which lately for me has meant really slow, but things do progress even when you work slow the hand embroidery on the winter goddess piece is complete and after all my doubts I can say she looks okay.  I still have no idea what to do with her so for now she will go in to be decided box. I finished stitching her on Friday evening.
stitching complete
Many times I just find a pattern I like with no real direction in mind except to hand embroider it so I do. Same thing happens with designs I make myself,  I just know I want to embroider it but after that no clue.  Perhaps some day I will gather those pieces together and make a quilt or a stitchery book. For me it doesn't much matter my joy comes from the act of stitching each piece, it is by far the most relaxing form of meditation I have found so far.

On Thursday morning I managed to squeeze in time for a trip to the library to pick up a few books to read during those times when I either don't feel like stitching or just need to give the fingers a rest.
this week I'm reading
These should keep me busy for a few days, I started the Sparrow Sisters on Friday while we were having one of those heavy rain storms and a cup of tea and a good book was the order for the afternoon.
I will be linking my post at Kathy's Quilts

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Slow Stitching on a Cloudy Sunday

On Friday we finally got some more rain the day began overcast and by mid morning the rains began and continued on most of the day, quite heavy at times, we needed it.  The weather forecast is for cloudy days and some showers through Wednesday and I sure hope we get some significant rain the area is so dry and brown.

The humidity makes it rather uncomfortable so I stay inside and what better way to spend an overcast sticky day than to slow stitch the day away, oh and get in a few loads of laundry too.

A few days I posted the progress I had made on the winter goddess so today I will post what I have done so far today.
June 4
The work I did prior to today is shown in the below photo as I mentioned in my earlier post I seem to
be dragging my feet on this piece, I'm not sure if I no longer like the piece or if I'm just reaching the point where I need a break from hand embroidery but I plan to keep stitching on her today and than put her aside for a short break.

I'll take a short break to do a little bit of reading later today my newest issue of Florida Gardening is waiting along with Make it Yourself magazine I picked up last week.

I love the Florida Gardening magazine, I have found it to be very helpful with garden planning, planting and other garden needs in Florida. There is an article on Basil I plan to read through today.,

I will be linking up to Kathy's Quilts today

On Monday I'll be linking up to the linky party at Super Mom No Cape

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Hello June

Well Hello June you have arrived and brought with you our first mid-day rains which is much needed. Today also marks the start of hurricane season which we really don't need but those daily rain showers would be nice.
I have been working on my winter Goddess hand embroidery piece though I am kind of dragging my feet on it, I'm just not sure I even like the piece at this point and keep asking myself if I want to finish it.

Here is a look at my ORTS from January 1st to June 1st I'd say I accumulated a nice little pile of bits and pieces of threads, floss and some yarn too. Not bad for 6 months of stitching my jar is half full.
Orts January to June
Orts Jar
I have a new project I plan to start crocheting this month, it's this lovely Ruana pattern from Two of Wands I bought a few weeks ago.

I don't usually crochet during the warm weather season but I just loved this pattern when I first saw it I knew I wanted to make it right away. Here is a link to the site I purchased the pattern from:
There are other crochet patterns and some lovely knitted patterns too. 

I want to use the Shawl in a Ball yarn I purchased a few months ago from Lion Brand yarn I was just waiting for the right pattern, I think this is the one. Here is a link for the yarn
I also need to get started on the Stitch at Home Challenge embroidery project the August 15th deadline will be here before I know it so its time to stop tweaking and get stitching.  

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Summer of Love floss arrives and waiting for a delivery

On Monday my clothes washer decided it didn't want to spin any longer, have you ever noticed these things never happen after the wash cycle completes?  So after pulling out all those soaked clothes I called a repairman, he gave me the bad news that it could be repaired however the cost for the part alone was more than I paid for the washer and it was repaired for the same problem about two years ago and at that time I was told if it happened again I would probably need a new washing machine.

So after paying for the service fees, I did a little browsing on Lowes website and found the washer I wanted and off I went shopping for a new washer.  The model I wanted was in stock, on sale and more than $100.00 less than the part to repair the old washer.  To make me smile even more not only is the delivery free it will be delivered today.  My only disappointment and to me a silly rule is you have to purchase new fill hoses otherwise the person delivering can't set it up.  So I have the new hoses the exact same ones I bought 6 years ago for the old washer, again because I wouldn't have the washer set up if I wanted to use the old hoses.  One more good thing, the old washer will be removed for me so I don't have to concern myself with that drudgery.  

I am looking forward to doing the laundry not because of the new washer, I'm now 4 days behind in my laundry and it piles up quickly.

Yesterday afternoon I had to clear part of the garage in case they want to enter through the garage to my laundry room, I had planned to do some heavy cleaning and clearing in there last month but I was fighting that darn bug and didn't have the energy, so yesterday besides clearing the walkway to the laundry room I did some clearing off of the shelves, I managed to donate 4 boxes of books, a box of glassware, a bunch of miscellaneous items that I haven't touched since I moved here in July of 2011. I have a few more shelves to go through I'm sure there will be more things to donate when all is done. Most of the stuff in the garage are shipping boxes in various sizes for the Ebay and Amazon business as well as garden tools, some of my sons keepsakes and holiday decorations.  It will be nice to have a few empty shelves for a while.

Late last week the embroidery floss for the Summer of Love Stitch at Home challenge arrived in the mail, I chose A Whiter Shade of Pale colors. 
 I think a part of me chose the colors because I like the song though I like neutral colors and thought they would work well in any design I choose to make.  I want to tweak my design a little bit then I should begin the stitching this weekend.   I'll include the link again for the challenge just in case it sounds like something you would be interested it.

Washer Update:  The delivery guy used my old hoses so I can return the new hoses for a refund, he said they are the same stainless steel lifetime hoses that I just bought, I knew this but hey it's nice he used the old hoses that still look brand new.
Hopefully I won't need to call the Maytag repairman for my new machine for at least 10 years or so.  

Monday, May 15, 2017

May Ramblings

I spent Mother's Day yesterday with my son who was sweet enough to take me to two of my favorite places, The Kanapaha Botanical Gardens in Gainesville and The Waldo Flea Market which is about a 30 minutes apart.

I love strolling through the Botanical Gardens when the flowers are in bloom though May in Florida can be hard on flowers as well as the drought we have experienced over the years. Still the scent of Jasmine was almost intoxicating, some roses were in full blooming glory and the bamboo trees took my breath away.

some potted plants
more in pots
lizard posing for a photo
roses in the herb garden
Buddha among the Bamboo
Bug sculpture
The day was perfectly balanced with sun and clouds, a nice warm breeze and the wonderful company of my son.  The day before we had much needed rain for most of the day and it was nice to wake up to sunshine and my own garden thriving though it was too early for the blooms to be open.

I finished the hand embroidery on the Goddess of Willendorf piece she is just off the hoop though so she will need to be pressed before I finish her and while looking at the photo I may add another flower between the two flowers above her head.
hand embroidered Willendorf
If you aren't familiar with the Goddess of Willendorf she is inspired by: The 'Venus of Willendorf' is the name that was given to a female figurine that was found in 1908 by an archeologist named Joseph Szombathy in a Aurignacian loess deposit near the town of Willendorf in Austria.
The statue was carved from oolitic limestone and was colored with red orche. It measures 110 mm in height (4.4 inches) and is dated 30,000 and 25,000 BC.

I was fighting off the last vestiges of the bug I had for two weeks so I plan to be back to my normal self this week and hopefully not as tired as I was over the last few weeks so I can start a few of the embroidery projects I have planned.

I will link up at Supermom No Cape and Kathy's Quilts today.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

First Week of May and Some Slow Sunday Stitching

I am finally over that nasty cold I came down with at the end of April, it wasn't so much the cold symptoms that were nasty but the overwhelming tiredness and need to sleep which usually with a cold seems to hasten getting over it not this time, it seemed the more I slept the worse I felt, and not sleeping wasn't an option.  As soon as I sat down I would begin to drift off, then after a few hours sleep I would wake with a too much sleep headache, which would make me close my eyes and back to sleep I would do, what a cycle. Thursday afternoon I began to feel awake I hadn't had to take any cough syrup for 3 days, I wasn't blowing my nose all day, sneezing or coughing as much.

I actually had the chance to pull out my embroidery and put in a few more stitching in the Goddess of Willendorf piece I am working on.
top flowers
Those flowers took me nearly a week to complete, my long short stitching needs lots of practice but I do like the overall look. My fingers ached by the time I was half through with each flower and I needed to take a day break in between, and the itchy watery eyes from the cold kept the work out of my hands for the most part.
leaves and vines
When I began to feel better I was able to load up the needles with green flosses and start the leaves and vines on the bottom of the piece.
I'm just starting the other leaves and vine section since I have my needles full of the green flosses, I
don't know if anyone else fills up several needles at a time with the colors they are using but I always have, it makes things flow easier when I don't have to stop to thread the needle.  I do that when I hand quilt too though for hand quilting I have 10 to 20 needles threaded and waiting.  For embroidery depending on the area I have 3 needles of each color I'll use.

I have my piece drafted for the Stitch at Home challenge sponsored by the San Francisco School of Needlework and Design.  The challenge, Summer of Love, coincides with the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Be-In at Golden Gate Park.  My design is reminiscent of a 1960's poster,  I am trying to decide whether to use white cotton fabric or a light denim colored cotton fabric, I'll know more once the 3 color DMC floss arrives.  I think I mentioned in my early post DMC is a supporter of the challenge and once you sign up you choose from several color palettes of embroidery floss DMC will send to you at no cost. What I like is you get to select your main choice and 2 other just in case the first choices aren't available. The challenge is free to anyone here is the link if you are interested it taking part in this challenge.
You also have the choice to send in the finished piece or a photo of the finished piece for the exhibition.   Also you must use the 3 colors from DMC. You are not limited to embroidery other forms of needlework are also welcome.

I'll post my piece once I have it ready to stitch, knowing myself I will tweak it a few times before I transfer to fabric.  Right now I am trying to decide if I want to trace my pattern onto the fabric or scan my pattern and print it on the stitch and wash away product which I love using though at time can be a bit difficult to stitch through depending on the fabric.

I am linking up to Kathy's Quilt today
and Monday I'll link up at Supermom No Cape

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Here is a link for a new stitchery challenge from the San Francisco School of Needlework and Design

I thought I would share this link with you, I just signed up to be part of the challenge, here is a snippet from the rules:
You may use any needlework technique that you like. Examples include; embroidery, appliqué, quilting, or goldwork. You may also incorporate techniques such as fabric painting, drawing on fabric, or dying fabric; but your design must still include needlework of some kind. 
and another snippet here:
DMC has sponsored this challenge and each participant will receive 3 skeins of DMC threads to include in the piece. You must fill out Part 1 of our Entry Form in order to receive the DMC threads, and you must use these threads as a part of your piece

All the rules and entry forms can be found by following the link.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Still under the weather

I am still battling a miserable cold so not much has been getting done except lots of lying down and napping.  I hope to be up and around some time this week.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

April Days

Is it me or is the month of April moving rapidly? Some days I feel like I can't keep the days of the week straight, for me that's one of the draw backs of not working outside the home any longer. I know last week was the Easter holiday, which means traffic gets a little heavier, the supermarket gets busier and the beaches will be full of tourist here in Florida.  Spring has settled in for it's brief time before the heat of summer arrives here in Florida. In a few weeks many of the 'snow birds" will head back north for the summer and I'll say a farewell to several friends for a few months knowing most will return in the late autumn just when things cool off here and get quite cold in the northern part of the county.

This month has me planning a few new embroidery projects to keep me busy, I have  a few of my own designs and a few kits to fill in on days when I either need a break from a project or to fill in while I am preparing fabric and gathering floss for a project.

Last week while shopping at Joann's to pick up a few craft supplies for  my great niece Tessa, I came across a display of Zenbroidery kits and floss packs. 
Tree and Sewing Mandala
You may recall I posted this Peace Symbol Zenbroidery kit I purchase online a few weeks ago:
Peace Symbol
I just love it and I know it will be quite colorful, (a few other members in The Year in Stitches 2017 challenge are doing the same kit).  So when I found an entire section in the embroidery supplies aisle filled with Zenbroidery kits I had to buy a few, and those 40% and 50% coupons made them such a bargain. The kit includes pre-printed fabric and needle only.  I did purchase 2 floss embellishment packets which includes embroidery thread/floss, sequins, beads and beading thread, which I will pass on
Embellishment packets
to Tessa she's 4 and loves all those glittery bits and bobs for crafts, they will work nice with the stack of felt I gave her, she is such a sweet child you should have heard her excitement when she opened her package and saw the little pink scissors, squealing "My own scissors, aunt Debbie gave me my own scissors." I wish I had my camera out to record her excitement and her happy dance oddly enough the scissor handles was all she saw but my she was one happy child.

The most recent hand embroidery piece I am working on is a Venus of Willendorf, I think she is going to be a fine addition to my Goddess series. She is either going to be a prayer flag or banner I haven't decided quite yet.
I am stitching her on a neutral paisley print cotton fabric using mostly 2 strands of DMC floss.
paisley neutral
I love paisley prints and I thought this would be perfect for the piece, if she is to be a prayer flag I will fray the edges and if she is to be a banner I will back it with the a plain muslin or the same fabric.