Saturday, September 23, 2023

Welcome Autumn

 The fall equinox aka first day of autumn arrives on Saturday, September 23, 2023, at02:50 A.M. EDT in the Northern Hemisphere.

Yes! Autumn had arrived to north central Florida today, this morning at 7:00 a.m. it was a beautiful 60 degrees.

Despite the pain in both knees I managed a very slow walk in the park, even using the can my footsteps are unsteady.  Thursday morning can't get here soon enough, I'm just hoping the injections into the spine is effective.
Later today I plan to bake some bread and make a batch of applesauce, I have had the urge to spend some time in the kitchen which is rare for me lately.

For now though I am gathering the floss colors I need for a new embroidery project, actual for two, one is for Halloween and the other for Christmas.  Both are purchased patterns I will post more about them once I have things sorted.

Have a wonderful first day of Autumn wherever you may be.

Monday, September 4, 2023

Happy Labor Day!

It's the last day of a long weekend here in the U.S. Labor Day, which has come to signify the end of summer.  Today is also my sister Christine's birthday, in August she moved back north to Pennsylvania. She lost her husband of 27 years suddenly a year ago in June, she sort of drifted through the year quite unhappy until she went back to PA for a visit and laid some of his ashes with his parents.  While she was there she felt at home. In May she started looking for a house closer to me, each house we looked at she just broke down and decided to wait, then in July she told me her house sold the day after she listed it and she found a house in PA and was moving in August.  She said while visiting PA it just felt like home, it's where she spent most of her married life with her late husband, it's  where all her friends live.  We have a sister that lives in the same city and the rest of our family are in NJ and NY.  She has been trying to get me to move with her and believe me it's been tempting.  

Hurricane Idalia blew threw quite easily in my area with some rain through the day, we had more rain during July and the two days after the hurricane.  The super blue full moon was visible that evening which surprised me after all the clouds the hurricane brought with it.
I finished the stitching on the hand embroidered autumn equinox piece, I am quite happy with the results.
Then I added the pumpkin and sunflower buttons and chose the backing fabric so I can finish the piece. Now I need to decide whether to frame it in a hoop, a frame or make a wall hanging.  I never know what I want to do with most of the pieces I make until I complete the stitching.
Originally I was going to have her holding the sunflower which I thought looked pretty good.
Then I placed the pumpkin in her hands and it just spoke to me, I posted the 2 photos on my Facebook page, the results were about the same.
I think I mentioned in an earlier post the pattern is actually a purchased coloring page that I changed the motif in the center from an apple to the goddess figure. The Etsy shop is Owl and Moon Art. I wonder if I should have placed an apple button in her hands.  I plan to stitched the original page sometime soon.   I am linking my post to Kathy's Quilts here  I may have missed Slow Sunday Stitching by a day but the linky party is still available for a few hours.  

On Thursday, the 7th I am scheduled for an injection into my spine for pain relief, I have been waiting for 6 weeks and believe me I have been counting the hours.  I wonder if  I chose back surgery would I be halfway through recovery by now?  I'm just hoping the injection works, the pain radiates to my legs, especially my knees so walking has become very difficult for me.  Most days I haven't taken my daily morning walks and some days I can barely lift my right foot to put on a pair of shorts.  My GP prescribed a pain killer which makes me sick to my stomach and quite drugged feeling so most days I wait until the pain is unbearable to take one, some days a half pill.  I try not to take anything on the weekends so I can get some reading and stitching in and run errands etc. with a clear head.  Yesterday I drove to the facility where I am having the injection so I know the exact route and I can plan my travel time, my appointment is at 3 p.m.

Have a Safe and Happy Labor Day!

Friday, September 1, 2023

Welcome September!

 Happy September time to share some pretties! Wishing you all a wonderful month and cooler weather. It's been a very hot summer here. Have a great weekend everyone!

The hand embroidery on the Autumn Equinox is complete, the piece has been washed and lightly ironed, later today I will add a few button embellishments and chose a fabric to finish the piece, I have a few autumn prints pieces I am considering.


Sunday, August 13, 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching with Autumn in Mind

 The weather has just been so miserable and dealing with the pain and waiting for the injection into the spine next month has left me weak and tired.  I haven't had the energy to take my daily walk mainly because I am so unsteady with my footing I don't want to fall.

Yesterday I started a new hand embroidery piece for the Autumn Equinox, I am using DMC Coloris 4511 for the maple leaves and 4510 for the oak leaves. I started out just outlining the leaves then decided to use the satin stitch to show the color changes. So I went back and filled in the outlined leaf. This is a coloring page I purchased and tweaked by adding a goddess in the center.

The two Coloris colorways I'm using are very similar, the green in the 4510 is lighter and there is no brown.
I used a split stitch for the stems and the main veins on the leaves, I like how the leaves turned out but I also liked the outlined leaf I guess because much of my work is done in outlines I just wanted something a little different.  

The actual coloring page was purchased on Etsy Owl and Moon Art the the center motif is a large apple which looks wonderful but I wanted a goddess in the center.

I am also signed up for the Woolie Friends Pumpkin Patch SAL on Facebook it started on July 31st and I just made it in time for the first Free block. Every Monday for 12 weeks a new block pattern is posted and is free to download for a week, if you join and missed the free pattern they are offered for sale at each vendors shop.  

The third block pattern is available tomorrow and today is the last day to get block 2 for free.   
I loved the 1st block so much I purchased the kit from Calico Patch Designs the photo below is the designers finished block.

Here is the schedule for all of the blocks and vendors.
What I love most is you don't have to use wool or purchase a kit, many people are using fabric for the blocks and many are pulling wool from their stash and the creative tweaks people put into their blocks are so different. My block kit is due tomorrow though I am sure it won't arrive until Tuesday or Wednesday since it's in Jacksonville and anything in Jacksonville seems to get stuck there for several days.
In the meantime I am going to continue stitching my Autumn piece all the while dreaming of cooler days in November when autumn usually arrives here in central Florida.  I am linking my post over at Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching, head on over to see all the lovely things other bloggers are slow stitching this week.

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Tying up July with a Slow Sunday Stitching Floss story and the Finished Morrigan.

 I put the last stitches into the Morrigan embroidery piece. I put off stitching her for nearly 2 weeks because I only had two strands of the wool floss I used for the wings left and didn't think I had enough, I ordered more and it came Friday so I finished stitching it yesterday and guess what? I had just enough to finish the piece without using the new stuff. I guess I should have kept stitching instead of waiting believing I didn't have enough floss and it would have been finished. Next time that happens I will use up the last bits I have on hand then go from there.  Here she is before I iron it.

On my search for more of the black wool floss I mistakenly thought I bought it at my local needlework shop, Brick City Cross Stitch, only to discover they don't sell wool floss. I did buy the Black Crow cotton floss there.  Not to make the trip a total waste of time I did pick up a few other flosses because who can resist all those luscious colors. The first group I just thought of oceans, and the second group will be used for an autumn project.  Let me clarify a trip to the LNS isn't ever a waste of time, it's just quite a distance from my home.

 What I should have done was to call ahead to see if they had the wool floss in stock, which would have disclosed they don't carry it and I would have remembered I purchased it online.  I made two purchases the first one for some Weeks Dye Works for the Kaleidiscope I was working on when I came across the Gentle Arts  Black Crow for the Morrigan piece I thought how fitting the name of the colorway so I bought them and added the wool floss to try.  The second purchase was for more of the wool floss when I finally remembered I didn't get it at the LNS,  I also ordered a few other colors of wool floss in lovely autumn colors and a wool blend on the end to try out.
I love the softness of the wool floss. I purchased it at 123 Stitch my go to place when the LNS doesn't have what I need in stock. I love the texture it brings to a piece, the softness of the floss to touch.  You can separate the strands, for the wings I used 2 strands.

I have no idea where I will use the other wool floss at this time only to say I have a few Autumn projects rolling around in my mind and will surely be posting all about it here. In the meantime I am linking my post to Kathy's Quilts here


Sunday, July 23, 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching, And a Bit of This and That!

 Apparently the L4 has moved out of alignment and is causing all the pain, and I have quite a arthritis in the spine as well. An MRI is scheduled for Tuesday the 27th, in the meantime it's a round of steroids to hopefully reduce the swelling and relieve some of the pain. Anyway it has a fancy name spondylolisthesis.

If the doctor would have listened better a few months ago when I saw him for my knee pain and I described everything that was going on he could have addressed this much sooner and I could have had less pain filled days. I had already told him about a previous back surgery for the L5 for the same reason and this is a pattern with the condition.

On the up side the steroids have helped with the pain and I am hoping that possibly physical therapy could be an option before another surgery, but I know I have been suffering with this for over 2 years so that may not be an option.

My progress on the Goddess Morrigan is moving along slowly when I hit a stand still when I ran out of the Black Crow wool floss I was using for the wings. I had thought I bought the wool floss at

Brick City Stitches, out local needlework shop, unfortunately they don't sell the wool floss.  I did recall ordering from 123Stitch when I ordered a few items for another project.  I was only using the wool floss for texture so I may continue on with just cotton floss in the same colorway by the same manufacturer.   In the meantime I have other project to work on. I joined the Stitch Club via Cozy Blue and have 2 pieces to start, I'm going to iron them today and start on the July Kit 1st which is a lovely floral crescent moon.

I also have the June kit to stitch which in a lovely Moth

I harvested a few basil leaves a few days ago, with the heat and humidity here in Florida basil tends to struggle during the summer so I have been moving the potted plants into the sun every few days and so far it's helping
I chopped a few leaves to toss into a salad yesterday and have the remaining leave in a bag in the fridge to use on some fish tomorrow.  It's a small plant that I haven't transplanted to a large pot yet which probably won't happen until it gets cooler and I can bend better.  I have been thinking about buying one of these raised bed boxes so I can start some plants for a fall garden.  This would give me the chance to get my hands in soil and not have to worry about hurting my back any worse then it is now. I miss having a garden.
Some photos pop up in my Facebook feed to remind me I can actually grow a garden but it's been so long.
This little garden bed I planted a few years ago before I moved into my current house in June 2019, I had a little rose garden along the side of the house.
I do miss gardening, I learned over the years not to plant to late in the season so that I don't lose everything to the July rains and heat.  Now is the time to start some seeds for the autumn and a good time to sit with a sketch book to plan out the next spring garden.  I can dream of getting my hands in the soil, filling up my empty pots and containers and preparing the beds for the winter where I plan to plant a nice raised bed.

I am currently reading Kitchen Witch by Sarah Robinson, a friend gifted me for my birthday, it's a lovely look into folklore and history and a bit of fairytale, I am enjoying it quite a bit.
There are no recipes in the book however, there is a companion cookbook coming out in September which will have recipes. 
I finished reading Soil by Camille T. Dungy, it was a lovely read and really moved me in ways I didn't expect.

Here is a link to Cozy Blue where I joined the Stitch Club I mentioned above.  She also sells some wonderful patterns and kits.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

July Days: A Year Older, Garden Surprises and Hot, Humid Rainy Days. Lots and Lots of Rain.

 Here we are nearly two weeks into July and things have heated up with temps in the upper 90's nearly everyday and often rain at times heavy rains, this is Summer in north Central Florida.  

I turned a year older on the 1st day of July, I celebrated my 68th birthday going out to lunch with my son and daughter in law to the Floating Boat where I had a lovely Elderberry Hard Cider, something I wanted to try since I saw it on the menu when the kids asked me where I would like to have lunch.

I don't normally take photos of foods when I eat out but I just couldn't resist. The little tapas style servings on the plate are crab cakes, red cabbage and pickled red onion. In the bowl is burnt ends with a dipping sauce.  The blue can is the the Elderberry cider which my son grabbed a 4 pack for me to take home since I liked it so much.  I don't usually drink alcoholic beverages but hey I'm a year older it's time to mix things up.  Lunch was a wonderful Blackened Mahi sandwich, no photo. The food was very good.

After lunch we stop at in indoor flea market for a stroll and then downtown to the Solis bakery for a slice of cake.  I had a 4 layer salted caramel cake which was delicious, I had to take half of it home it was too big, I should have taken a photo, it was a wonderful birthday.

As I mentioned above the rains have been quite heavy and to my delight and surprise the gardenia has begun to bloom again.  The surprise is because this spring it barely bloomed at all which I am sure it's because some of the roots have grown out of the ground, I keep covering them with soil until I can move it.  At the end of June we had nearly a week of non stop rain so the soil washed away.  But the rain also caused it to bloom again I'm sure.

Above are the exposed roots and below the few blooms that have been sprouting this week again

Another surprise came earlier this week while I was watering the herbs I am propagating in my kitchen window, the pink crepe myrtle tree is rapidly blooming.  I'm sure having the trees cut back, all the rain we have had an the sunshine has really helped.  I had totally forgotten this was in the backyard.

It's quite scraggly so in the autumn I will prune it back quite a bit, here is a photo taken the week before from my kitchen window not a crepe myrtle in sight.

I walked around the back to take a look at the crepe myrtle tree/shrub it appears I have several growing

There are quite a few growing close together so I may be able to move one or two, I can see where someone at one time cut down several.  There is a lone little one coming along so I will try to keep it shrub size and not tree size.

Here is a photo I snapped at how a healthy crepe myrtle should look at shrub size, its growing at the local post office.

I will do what I can with the crepe myrtles in my yard and hope by next summer they are thriving.

The last few sunflowers from my birthday bouquet are just beginning to droop, I have one in the flower press while it was still open fully.

I love sunflowers and hope my body is well and healed enough next spring so I can plant them in my yard.  One of my main goals this year is getting this body into better physical condition so I can garden and do other things. Recently I noticed my mobility isn't what it was a year ago and my knees have both been going out on me so I began doing chair yoga at home and some balance exercises for women over 65. 

Simon enjoying his new tunnel he received on my birthday, we have a variety of cat tunnels this one is just straight and has two peekaboo windows.  After a few weeks I will pack this one away and take out another.

Today I picked up A World of Curiosities by Louise Penny from the local library.  I am also reading

Kitchen Witch by Sarah Robinson which I am enjoying, its not a cookbook, it's more of a brief history

of the Kitchen Witch.  I love the cover design.  In fact, this year I have noticed the covers on many of the books I have read and have chosen them to read based on the cover, I just love all the colors.