Sunday, December 31, 2017

The last Slow Sunday Stitching for 2017 and a little peek ahead

Once again we are find ourselves on the last day of the year and hopefully looking back you have all had more good times than not. I looked back on my January 1 entry for 2017 and I'm happy to say most of the goals I set for myself were met. The most important one however still eludes me and that is getting better control of my health so that once again becomes my main goal.

I will say I did rather well on the Be More Creative goal I am avidly pursuing my love for hand embroidery perhaps to the point of ignoring everything else so I do need to remember I have other interest that shouldn't be ignored. During the week I worked on a few little embroideries the hand I plan to work into a larger project in the coming year. I will be linking to Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching.
The little Goddess with the candles I made for a friend, I just need to press and finish it with a hem.
Goddess for St. Brigid's Day
I'm once again going to be more creative in 2018, to start the year off I have the first block for the Crazy Quilt Journal Project ready to embellish. 
January block
My blocks won't look like the usual crazy quilt blocks you know those very lovely recognizable blocks that I see all over Pinterest, Facebook etc.  I'll be using this book as my guide and perhaps a few of the block layouts too. I'm also going to be using fabric from my stash of scraps. 

There is still time to join the CQJP 2018 the deadline to sign up is December 31st here:
This year I plan to read at least seven new to me authors rather than my usual 5 this year and to read more, I don't know what happened this year I have plenty of books to read and I started off doing quite well then after my vacation I seem to have not only forgotten I have books I forgot to open those books to read them because hand embroidery was all I wanted to do in my spare time. I bought the book The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman, I waited months for the book to be released, pre ordered it and when it came I had planned to start reading right after Halloween, when that nasty flu hit me and I could barely keep my eyes open for days, I didn't get any embroidery done during that time either. So the first book I will read in 2018 is The Rules of Magic.
first read in 2018
And to be sure I do more reading this year I will join the 2018 Library Love Challenge.
Also I have joined the Try Something New Challenge to be sure I keep my goal of trying at least 7 new to me authors in 2018 here is the link for this challenge:

Another goal for this year fell short so I'll try once again to take monthly hikes in the some of the Florida State Parks. I did so well in 2016 I don't know what happened this year. I will take part tomorrow morning in the First Day hike at Silver Springs State Park, these hikes are nationwide so if you are up early and near a state park check one out.
A few other state parks I plan to visit this year are:
Crystal River Archaeological State Park
Crystal River Preserve State Park
Big Talbot Island State Park
Honeymoon Island State Park
Falling Waters State Park

There will be other parks to visit but these were on my list last year and I didn't make it. Big Talbot Island and Honeymoon Island both have beaches. I love hiking and really need to do more of it this year here is one of my favorite quotes:
I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees.” -Thoreau
For most of these hikes I will be going solo, but for the Crystal River parks my sister and little grand niece Tessa may come along.

I would like to take a few crafting classes this year, not quite sure what at this time. I also want to try my hand at Gold work embroidery, try a larger Sashiko project, and let loose with my artistic side and really immerse myself with those things that interest me that I never seem to have time for. 

This year will be about making the time and taking the time, I have so many ideas in my head that need to get out, not to mention all those sketches and notes in my journals. I did make a little beaded scissors fob and needle nanny this week too.
scissors fob and needle nanny
Here's a photo of my orts for 2017, not as many as I thought but I use my thread until I can't pull the needle through most of the time. There is even a few strands of yarn in there from a crochet project and some plain sewing thread from hemming my pants. 
January to December 2017 Orts
This is the fullest my orts jar has ever been I am really pleased at how much stitching I did in 2017. 
orts jar 2017
I thank all of you for your comments throughout the year and wish all of you a safe and Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Slow Stitching on Christmas Eve.

It's so nice to have a few days to myself, all the packing and shipping is done, the stores are in vacation mode till the middle of next week and I have time for some much needed stitching.  It seems like weeks since I made any significant progress on my stitching projects but today I spent most of the afternoon preparing a few patterns for some projects,
The fingers crossed was on the lightbox first, this will be going to a friend once it's completed.
The Goddess with candles is a design I am making for someone that asked for a Goddess piece and she loves candles so I thought this would work nicely.
This last piece I had on the lightbox today is a Greenman, yes another one, this one I purchased a few days ago from this Etsy shop  she has some of the sweetest patterns.  For this particular project I only wanted the greenman's face that you see I traced, I left off the background though I am sure in the near future I will make this pattern as a whole.  I plan to crayon tint before I begin stitching.

Midway through the afternoon of tracing patterns, choosing floss colors I managed to get a start on the crossed fingers.
Then after diner I managed to get the rest of the stitching done, this photo is right after I removed it 
from the hoop. I still need to press it and put some backing on it then put it in a wooden hoop suitable for hanging. Right now looking at the photo I see I need to add two small knuckle lines on the 3rd finger.  I am linking up at Kathy's Quilts today for Christmas Eve Slow Sunday Stitching click on over and see what other bloggers are stitching today.

Monday, December 18, 2017

New Moon and a TUSAL report for December Orts

It's been another busy week here with very little time for stitching, the weekend went by in a flash and here we are with another Monday under our belts.  Last Friday morning while taking out the trash I snapped a photo of a beautiful sunrise as seen from my driveway looking into the backyard.
Sunrise 12/15/17
Saturdays are usually reserved for me time but with the holiday season keeping up with shipping demands I sacrificed my me time to print shipping labels, three hours in finally I was done with the labels.

I did get a few stitches in Saturday evening but my hands were so dry from the shipping labels the skin on my fingers was cracking and it was painful to hold the needle so I put it aside, I did manage to get the first leaf of the greenman stitched.

Saturday afternoon I ventured down the driveway to bring in the mail which included a package from a friend that I had been waiting for since early November, it was one of those packages that gets to take a tour of our nations post offices until it gets on the right truck and makes it to my local post office. This particular package visited 7 states all north and west of Florida before finally reaching me.  I don't know about you but I have noticed each time the post office increase the postage cost the service get worse but that is a story for another day.

Inside the package my friend sent me some embroidery goodies she didn't want and knowing how much I love doing embroidery thought I would like to have them.  A few months ago she decided she really doesn't like hand embroidery, she prefers knitting, (I often send her my had to have it and bought yarn that never gets used).  Any way she sent me a package of the discontinued DMC linen embroidery floss. I had told her I had found some about maybe a year ago and she went searching the internet to find some because she thought she should have some too. It's hard to find though every now and then a few skeins or a pack will show up.
After I bought the DMC Coloris line of embroidery floss back in the summer of 2016 my friend bought them too, you guessed it they were in the box too.
She also sent me two packages of Mesh for embroidery, she was telling me about it a while ago I was picturing tulle fabric or something in my mind.  It's more like a piece of very light weight screen fabric.
DMC Mesh
I don't know it you can see the mesh in the photo it comes with the free pattern pictured, one side is gold and the other side is silver you can use either side.  You can bet I will be messing around with it in the New Year.  I checked the DMC website and they do have it for sale.  She sent me a few wooden hoops, some needles and a few skeins of embroidery floss.

She was so relieved when I called her Saturday to let her know the package arrived and to thank her for all those goodies. She was just finishing up the last of 3 wool hats she was knitting for her daughters using some of the wool I recently sent her, yes one of those I was at Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool festival and had to buy some wool that I never used,  heck I live in Florida it hasn't been cold enough to need anything made with wool, but oh those colors, that texture if you knit or crochet you know what I mean.  My friend and I have known each other most of our adult lives, we were neighbors when I lived in NJ,  friends since high school, she has lived in Vermont nearly as long as I have lived here in Florida, we have been sending each other our unused crafting supplies for two decades. 
While putting away the floss and mesh I pulled out a few old issues of Stitch Magazine, this is the UK's Embroiderer's Guild publication though you can purchase single issues of subscribe.
Here is a link if you would like to look around.   Speaking of Embroidery Guilds, last month I finally join the Embroiderer's Guild of America and ordered a few items from the sites store.
This nifty tote bag to lug stuff around, I have a weakness for tote bags and seem to buy them from all sorts of places.  I also purchased the Logo pin and a few stickers.
EGA Logo Pin
I am sorting through my fabric scraps to plan my crazy quilt blocks for the 2018 Crazy Quilt Journal Project, I have a few ideas rolling around in my head but nothing set in stone.  I like this book for block ides
maybe the first block
The blocks in the book are constructed all wily nily rather than the few shapes I usually see.  I haven't decided whether to make 1 block a month or make a few or all 12 so I can just concentrate on the embellishing.  There is still time to register if you are interested the deadline is December 31, 2017 so here is the link:

It's the new moon today too so I am going to post an ORTS report something I haven't done in quite a while.  The orts I am posting are from June to December 2017
I worked on quite a few projects in the last six months and have gathered quite a few threads, I hope to have a few more to add before the last day of December. I'm going to post over at It's Daffy Cat for the TUSAL Totally Useless Stitch A Long. 
On Sunday evening I attempted to do more stitching but my fingers were still quite sore I only managed to get a few bees stitched on another project I'm working on.
I think the adhesive on the shipping labels irritates the skin on my fingers and combined with the drying effect the paper has on my hands I will need to find a solution so for the next few days I will be reading through those Stitch magazines.  I found a cute little project to consider.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

A little stitching

It has been a crazy busy week that this little ditty sums up just about how I feel right about now.
The temps here in north central Florida dropped to 29 degrees last night this morning I woke about 4:45 with now power brrrr was it cold, I think because we had two days of rain and cloudy skies it felt even colder.  So half asleep I called the electric company to report the outage, luckily someone reported it 45 minutes before I. 
This is just about what I felt when my bare feet hit the cold ceramic floors, I'm still chilled to my bones.  After making the report I went back to bed hoping to get at least another hour of sleep, at least it was warm under my bed quilts, around 6:20 the furnace kicked on I knew power was restored.  Since sleep was eluding me I put on some hot water for cocoa and began to print shipping labels.

I did manage to finally have time last night to put in a few stitches in the greenman project, and I mean just a few.
I also managed to get a haircut yesterday, I had to reschedule my appointment in November during my bout with the flu and then I had an appointment on the 6th but had to cancel due to check up at doctor's running over, I was so relieved yesterday cause I was just about ready to shave my head, it drives me crazy when my hair gets in my eyes to the point of irritation.

On the way back I stopped a local thrift shop and found another great bargain a whole package of Sulky 20 spools of cotton thread still sealed in the package for $2.00.
I'm sure I will put them to good use I love the pastel colors.  This week will be another busy week so I don't think I will get much stitching done but I'll make time where I can.  For today I am posting over at Kathy's Quilt .

Sunday, December 3, 2017

December's First Slow Stitching Sunday

December seems to have arrived while I wasn't looking, after being ill with the flu and viral infection for a few weeks the days tend to run together and before I knew it I was turning the page on my calendar.  I am happy to say I am feeling much better not quite 100% but very close and I'm back to my hand embroidery with a clear head. 

I finished the 3rd house block for the I Love Home series by Jacqueline Steves, so now I need to print off and trace block 4 which is the last block for the project.

I have two new embroidery projects  in the works. One project has been printed onto the Pellon Stitch N Washway stabilizer and affixed to the fabric and await stitching. I love using this when I have a piece with a lot of detail like the greenman pattern below, it's much easier to print the pattern onto the product that way I don't miss any of the details, which I have done in the past.

The first project is another Greenman piece, he is being worked on unbleached cotton muslin which I am also using for backing the piece for more stability. I think this is the 6th Greenman I'm doing.
Greenman from Urban Threads
This Greenman pattern is another from Urban Threads, I have quite of few of their patterns this one can be found here: 

I was out and about a few days ago dropping off a bag of donations at one of my favorite thrift shops and decided to browse for a few minutes, I'm so glad I did I stumbled upon a great find I nearly missed 50 packages of Mill Hill beads and 6 charms, all sealed packets for $5.00.
I thought how serendipitous since I signed up to take part in the 2018 Crazy Quilt Journal Project, I'm sure some of my embellishing will include some beads.  Registration is open until December 31 here is the link if you are interested in taking part and signing up:

The thrift shop where I found the beads is the same shop I found spools and spools of velvet ribbons and all kinds of lace trim a year or so ago.  I wonder if there is a crazy quilter in the vicinity.  I am linking my post today over at Kathy's Quilts come over and have a look at what other bloggers are slow stitching today

A future project coming up will involve embroidering these blocks by Darlene Zimmerman for Robert Kaufman's Windowsill Garden collection, there are eight blocks and I decided to do both the colors and the redwork blocks.
in colors

all red
I like to have something at hand for when I get tired of working the same project or the tedious use of one color which will happen when I begin stitching the Greenman. 

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Slow Stitching Again

It's been a while since I was able to get in some real stitching time but finally this week I was feeling well enough to sit up for more than a few minutes and stitch.  This bug I have is still lingering but for the most part I am functioning at near normal again. On the up side I lost 12 pounds the first week I was sick, not the best way to lose weight but heck I'll take it.

Thanksgiving is over and we are now facing the holiday rush and crush and all I want to do is lie down to make the room stop moving,  I was well enough last week driving to the post office each day to drop off packages, no matter how sick I am the customers are very important tom me so I printed labels and packed bubble mailers in spurts it took nearly half a day but it's what you do, the first days I was sick my son made the daily post office run, I didn't trust myself to drive.

As I mentioned I did get some stitching done and oh goodness some online shopping too because really when you are too sick to read, or stitch what else is there to do when you start to get restless for some contact with fabric or thread, yarn or a book.

I finished two of the four house blocks I was working on and the third block is nearly completed I have to trace the 4th house which was released on Nov. 6th.
two houses done
nearly finished
I completed the few little Winter embroidery pieces and I'm pleased with the results though they are far from perfect.
I just love the little snowman, I don't know if I ever mentioned this before when I lived in New Jersey I started to collect snowmen then I moved to Florida I continued to collect them, more so I think because I missed the snow and winter so much.  I was very particular about the snowmen I collected they had to have a look about them that could melt my heart, like the little one I just stitched.  I still have my snowman collection packed away in the garage.

I have to mention I won a Give A Way a few weeks ago you can read about the give away and all about the quilt here
Moosemas panel
coordinating fabrics

This is what the quilt will look like once it is done I borrowed the photo from the website it's such a sweet little quilt.  The kit is available here: 
Before I won the give away I purchased some adorable fabric from Four Peaches Fabric which is fast becoming one of my favorite online fabric shops.
Some Bunny Love You Collection
I saw these and just thought Spring, I have no idea what I'll make just yet but you can bet I will include some kind of hand embroidery with it.

Right before I got sick I finally joined the Embroidery Guild of America  (EGA) we don't have a local chapter where I live so I am a member at large.  Below is the first issue of NeedleArts the guild magazine along with the course catalog.  I just love the logo and have downloaded a pattern form the site to embroider it. There is a Chapter on the East coast and I believe one Northwest so I will eventually inquire about a meeting and perhaps join a chapter, in the meantime there are online courses, seminars etc.
Needle Arts EGA
I found this cute little pin online while taking part in a stitch a long and thought it would be a cute needle minder, I plan to remove the pin and add magnets.  
Well that's all I have time for today I am beginning to feel tired so I'm going to sign off and try to finish the house block stitching.  I am linking up today with Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching

I hope you all have a wonderful day.