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. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

April is Off to a Good Stitching Start

April came in so quickly I think my head is still spinning with the same old question of where does the time go?

Today I have a short answer, for me it goes with each and every stitch I make when working on a hand embroidery project. I lose myself completely in my stitching, my breathing and heart beat get slower, my muscles relax, I achieve a meditative state.

I pulled out the Lunar Blossoms kit from Cozy Blue I bought a few months ago and finished the stitches on Saturday.
Stitched Moons
waiting for the first stitch
I love this little Moon phases piece I will finished it later this week as a hanging in a hoop.  I love the little sashiko look it has so I ordered the iron on transfer so I can make another using a different background.  You can also order just the pattern download. The kit came with the printed fabric, needle and embroidery floss. I ordered mine from the Etsy shop
I will be starting on this Zenbroidery kit as part of the 1 Year of Stitches 2017 and the A Year in Stitches challenges I am participating in this year.
waiting for stitching
the kit
Several members of the two groups are doing this pattern, the kit includes the printed fabric and a needle.
I will link my post today at
Happy Stitching and Happy Day to All of You!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Trekking the Trails

It has been a lovely few weeks here in central Florida, plenty of blue skies and bright sunshine with temps in the mid 80's feels more like early Summer than Spring but that's Florida.

Last Friday I took to the road and drove to Ormond by the Sea, it was in the low 70's with quite a brisk breeze blowing, a perfect day to soak in the sunshine and listen to the tide ebb and flow while birds and gulls glided over head.
the ocean calls to me
I think these are the biggest waves I have seen on a Florida beach in the 22 years I have lived here.
white capped waves rolling in
The ocean was a bit rough and wave after white capped wave rolled in leaving behind a heady foam on the sand.
On Monday I trekked the trail at my favorite park making my way into the M.O.M.S. area which is such a serene place to visit.
Memories of Missing Smiles
When you first pass through the gate you have a view of the waterfall feature in the garden which is quite lovely.
As you walk along the path there are little walkways off the main path you walk through an arbor and take the brick way to several benches, a bird bath and some benches, lots of plants and even a bird house or two.
Jasmine on the arbor
Some flowers in bloom
something is inside
There are quite a few memorial stones along the stream and at the bottom of the reflection pool but I decided not to post anything that can be read.
There are benches throughout the pathways and several to view the reflection pool as well as the waterfalls.
The stream runs over and around the river stones from another waterfall at the top of the reflection pool.
I was delighted to snap a photo of the ever elusive cardinal that was flitting from tree to tree, it's rare that I get a photo of a cardinal believe me I try every year in my backyard and very rarely get one.
Today on my walk I was greeted by a flock of I think egrets and herons pecking their way across the meadow without concern that people were passing by, they just kept moving along the grass.

I'm not sure where my next walk will take me but you can be sure I will have my trusty camera or cell phone along to snap a few photos to share.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wednesday Walk

Today I brought along my cell phone so I could use the camera on my walk to take a few new photos at my favorite park where I walk daily.
The weather was perfect for a walk after a cloudy early morning gave way to bright sunshine and March winds later in the morning.
The above photo is of two fat crows walking, cawing and pecking about totally ignoring the woman with her cellphone snapping a photo, I love watching crows even though in my garden they can really be a nuisance and they love raiding the bird feeders, still I put out corn and peanuts for them and the squirrels.
This park, Jervey Gant, has some huge oak trees when I walk I lose my thoughts just looking at them, today I stepped beneath the largest tree to take some photos of the multitude of branches that have grown so heavy when the touched the ground they have taken root.
In the photo below I am now under all the leafy branches taking a shot of the trunk which looks just like any other tree trunk.
 until you look around and notice the branches have touched the earth and planted themselves there.
Every now and them I bring a blanket and spread it under the tree and just breathe enjoying my quiet communion with Mother Earth and this majestic tree.

My walk wouldn't be complete without stopping at the water station and refilling my water bottle.
I like this little water station with the spot on the end for water bottles, it's located right near the volley ball and basket ball courts and right off the trail.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

A Freeze the Week Before Spring, Slow Sundays and a Sneak Peek.

We had our usual cold snap before Spring last week with temps dropping to 28 degrees one night and 32 the next, I was keeping an eye on the Accuweather website for the weather report each day and happy to say I remembered to cover all my plants.
Moved everything together 
at my entryway
Stuff a few under the table
I uncovered everything yesterday afternoon, place them all in full sun and so far all the plants look fine a few a bit faded and one of the hibiscus is spindly but it keeps blooming so I don't want to cut it back.
spindly hibiscus before the freeze
the spindly hibiscus after the freeze
The tomato plant has been bursting with fruits though the leaves are looking a little worse for wear hopefully a few days of warm sunshine will help.
more tomatoes

and still a few more tomatoes
On the hand embroidery update the stitching on the greenman was completed last weekend, now I am deciding whether to frame him or make a wall hanging.
I posted the photo on my Facebook page and my friends tell me he looks quite 1968 mellow it took me a moment to understand what she meant, she's right.  Those spaces on the side and along the top and bottom are part of my design I'm going to add fabric leaves to the piece regardless if I frame him or make a wall hanging, at least that's how I saw it in my mind when I began the piece.
I will be linking up today at Kathy's Quilts today for Slow Sunday Stitching here is the link to check out what other bloggers are slow stitching today:

Here is a Sneak Peek at an upcoming project I have in the works, the project is a jewelry making project I ordered these charms about a week ago and they arrived on Friday.
elemental charms
 Several will be used for a jewelry project and a few may be put to use on the elemental goddess hand
embroidery I did a few weeks ago so I can give it the finish I had envisioned.
I will be joining the linky party at Supermom No Cape on Monday why don't you click the link and have a look at other blogger's wonderful projects and perhaps grab one or two of the free vintage embroidery patterns sure to bring a smile to your face.