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Sunday, January 17, 2021

Another Reading Challenge and A bit of Stitching

 I'm trying to get my ducks in a row but some how I seem to have a wayward herd of goats going willy nilly.  After being sick for months I feel so disconnected from my life and the world around me.  I don't remember ever being so disorganized.  

I have another reading challenge I've joined, it's one I was searching for and finally found,  it's the 

2021 Cruzin through the Cozies Reading Challenge, here's the link if you are interested

https://socratesbookreviews.blogspot.com/2020/11/cruisin-thru-cozies-reading-challenge.html

I read quite a few cozy mysteries so I thought why not join up this gives me a chance to find other cozy mysteries I don't know.  The first book for this Challenge is by Bailey Cates Charms and Chocolate Chips, I love cozy mystery for pure escape especially when I read a gruesome mystery or when I need to relax and picking up needle and thread isn't working for me.

 

Speaking of needle and thread one of the next projects I'm going to be working on today is in the Q-snap frame and ready for my to decide what color to start with.  Here is a little peek at what I'll be hand embroidering starting today. I'll be linking to Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching today 

https://kathysquilts.blogspot.com/2021/01/slow-sunday-stitching-my-oldest-ufo.html

I am planning the February goddess for next month I have 3 designs in mind, one is the Cailleach, one is Airmid and the other is Cerridwen all 3 are Celtic goddesses oh and I've been playing around with a Kali but I keep messing up the extra arms, I've seen photos of her with 6, and 8 and sometimes 10 arms, so who knows.


Friday, January 15, 2021

First Book for Reading Challenges

 The first book I chose for one of the 2021 reading challenges I join actually will be the first book for two Challenges.

I have three of the Peter May books sitting on my shelf waiting to be read, I didn't start reading it because the first one I had was Lewis Man and I wanted to read the books in order and by the time I remembered I had the books not only had my TBR shelf, yeah it's no longer a pile, I was reading other books, many other books as it goes with many avid readers.

So this book will be the first for two challenges, European Reading Challenge 2021 and TBR 21 in '21  which is simply read 21 books in your to be read pile/shelf or in my case shelves. Does any one else keep a spread sheet on books read, books to read, authors to read well the list goes on. I have been keeping a spread sheet for more then 10 years mainly to keep track of books I have read. 

Life is short and I don't want to spend it reading the same book several years from now, I know I will never read all the books I want in my lifetime but I will give it my best shot.  There are very few books I have read more than once by choice.  And I still follow my if I'm not interest 50 pages or 3 chapters in don't keep reading it, log it on the spread sheet noting the page or chapter I felt the book wasn't for me. 

I chose the Black House because I like a mystery and it takes place in Scotland which qualifies it for the European challenge.

 



Wednesday, January 13, 2021

My first TUSAL for 2021 and a Few Reading Challenges

 Yesterday was the New Moon and I forgot to post my Orts for the January TUSAL report.  Well here they are, spare but every little snippet adds up.

The Orts are mostly from the January Goddess I completed recently now pressed, I am preparing for the next goddess for February.

If you are curious about what a TUSAL is check out this post here:https://itsdaffycat.blogspot.com/2021/01/the-totally-useless-stitch-long-2021.html?fbclid=IwAR3Y1BKSVZ0LSLPhrOAk5WlS7acQXD4yGn_dgrgQkou9qzIUseA-QA9PCXA

I hope to keep up with my TUSAL reporting this year and try to hit the new moon post as close as I can get, I missed it by one day this month, after planning to make the post last night.

As much as I love hand embroidery I am also a avid reader and every new year I usually join one or two reading challenges and this year is no different, this year besides the Goodreads challenge I am taking a part in the 2021 European Reading Challenge. Here is a link if you are interested in joining

https://www.rosecityreader.com/p/2021-european-reading-challenge.html

I haven't chosen my first book yet, I'll have that in a few days I have to go through my to read and want to read list.  I plan to read 5 but will probably be more (each new year one of my goals is to read 5 new to me authors).
Since my To be Read (TBR) and Want to Read list is nearly endless I have also joined the

 TBR 21 in '21 Challenge  You can find the challenge here https://www.rosecityreader.com/p/the-tbr-21-in-21-challenge.html

My Goodreads challenge this year I have 30 books as my goal so reading 21 shouldn't be a problem.








Sunday, January 10, 2021

A Blast from the Past and Slow Stitching Sunday!

My son Nick and I were clearing out a few boxes and sorting through bins in the garage on Thursday mainly to unload things we haven't needed or missed since we moved in about 18 months ago.  We try to go through stuff every 6 months or so and we always manage to have a bag or two of stuff we no longer need and then I sort the stuff into donate or throw away.  Most gets donated like a huge bin full of ribbon and lace on spools that I barely touched since I picked them up at a thrift store. When I say bin I am not talking about a shoe box, It's this 56 quart large container.

 
Two of the bins had broken lids so I went through those first everything in them became a donate bins. In total I went through 8 bins and 4 bins off stuff will be donated tomorrow.  Three empty printer boxes can now go, we go through printers fast,  I usually keep the box until the next one is purchased. 
A new printer is one the way but this time to replace a defective printer we just bought in mid December.

So you may be wondering how does all this relate to slow stitching on a Sunday? A mere blast from the past while looking for several missing items that I use for embroidery (small light box and Sulky thread box) I came across one of the first hand embroideries I made before I ever knew stitches had names.

 


I don't recall the book the pattern was in, though I think it was an Erica Wilson design only because I recognize some of the animal motifs from one of her books. I had read several of her books, stitched a few of her Crewel embroidery kits in the 1970's, I believe this Garden of Eden was intended as crewel work but I did it with embroidery floss. I still do when I find a pattern I like.

When I first pulled this out of the bin I was shocked at the amount of satin stitch I did, it did bring back memories of separating strands of floss when 6 strands were too much.  Working this was such a learning experience for me and looking at it now I can see errors and bits of cleverness on my part. 

I made this a year before my son was born, he will be 40 next month. I had this hanging in a frame for about thirty years, the frame broke a few years after I moved to Florida so I packed it away. Once my son was born the hand embroidery was put on hold after making a few small wall hangings for his room. I wouldn't pick up hand embroidery again until 2014 when once again I was going through some craft bins and found a stash of embroidery floss. I haven't put my needle down since. 

Overall I love the piece, I put in hours of stitching and removing stitches, they way I transferred the design is almost comical, I traced the pattern from the book onto paper, then turned it over and retraced everything with an transfer pencil so I could iron it onto the fabric goodness I had so much to learn.

 It's in need of cleaning and perhaps be framed once again or stuffed back in the bin for another 30 years.

One other treasure I found in the bin is this piece of linen fabric from July 1964 (I was 9 years old), it measures 36x50 inches.

I suspect it was for a table cloth I have no clue whether it was to use as is or to be embroidered. Either way I knew I had to have it and I knew someday I would embroider something on it, sadly today is not that day.


In 1964 it sold for $2.20, I bought it for $1.00 at a thrift shop about 5 years ago. I have ideas swirling around in my head to embroider something on it for years I've had the idea of filling a sizable piece of fabric with embroidery so maybe it's time to pull out the sketch book.

I finished the embroidery on the January goddess, I haven't ironed out the wrinkles yet but I did wash off the stick and wash product, what a difference when all those black lines are gone.

I am linking my post today at Kathy's Quilts here https://kathysquilts.blogspot.com/2021/01/slow-sunday-link.html  

I am also linking here at Life in Pieces for 15 Minutes to Stitch https://kate-life-in-pieces.blogspot.com/2021/01/stitching-time-week-2-of-2021.html

After losing so much stitching time in 2020 mostly due to illness it will be nice to get some regular stitching time in, even if its only 15 minutes. 

For the record I did manage to stitch for at least 15 minutes 7days of the first week of January.

To keep me stitching I have once again joined the Facebook Group 1 Year of Stitches: 2021 and I still follow along with TAST and I joined the 2021 Journal Threaders Facebook group, I'll have a photo of my progress is a few days.  I don't stitch on the journal daily, and speaking of journals I just checked according to my stitching journal I began stitching the Garden of Eden in January 1980 completing it April 1980.





Sunday, January 3, 2021

Happy New Year and Slow Sunday Stitching

 Happy New Year to Everyone!


Like most people I am not sorry to see 2020 behind me, I made enough gripes about the last year so moving on to bigger and better things for 2021.

Here is the progress on the hand embroidery for my Goddess a month personal challenge.  One of the photo is the backside to show the flow of the Coloris floss I think it changes about an inch into stitching though the way I cut the floss and how I thread the next piece makes for a break in the flow.






For the central spirals I am using a solid color floss DMC 3836 which goes well with the Coloris floss.
I have been stitching for a few days and have quite a lot of progress.  I will be linking my post today at Kathy's Quilts for the first Slow Sunday Stitching in 2021 here is the link have a look at what other bloggers are stitching  https://kathysquilts.blogspot.com/2021/01/slow-sunday-stitching.html

I was asked the other day what I have planned for all the goddesses when I am done at the end of the year and I have decided to sew them together into a quilt, not the one above that has been promised to someone so I will make another so I'll have 12 goddess blocks (or more).  So that's the plan in January who knows what will happen by December.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Last Post of 2020 and Looking Ahead

 It's December 31st, New Year's Eve 2020, the last day of the year and my last post for the year. It has been a rough 2020 for all of us, and for me personally one that presented health problems just when the world was closing down so to speak. I am no closer to answers than I was in March of 2020, but I can happily say I am having some better days, I will not be sorry to see 2020 go quietly into that good, good night.

Some of my plans for 2021 will be rather home oriented while I regain my health and strength, however, I would like to venture out and be a bit more social all the while remaining cautious with continued face mask wearing and social distancing.

 On the creative side of things for 2021 I plan to do a hand embroidery project where I will embroider a Goddess a month. I have the first goddess prepared she will be done on 100% cotton tone of tone fabric, using DMC Coloris floss 4509.

I will be making other projects throughout the year and also taking part in the 2021 Journal Threaders Facebook group, is anyone else taking part in the Journal Threaders 2021 project? If you are interested here is a link https://www.facebook.com/groups/journalthreaders/

Speaking of Goddesses, I bought this lovely drawstring goddess bag from Penny (@janeandlouise) it's perfect, I ordered the 8x10 size and left the color option to be surprised when I opened the package I was thrilled to see purple, my power color. https://www.instagram.com/janeandlouise/ 


Well that's all for now, I will leave you with an image from Inge Look one of my favorite illustrators.
Wishing You All a Safe and Happy New Year


Sunday, December 27, 2020

The Last Slow Stitching Sunday of 2020

 Well we made it through to the last Sunday of the year, which brings me to my last Slow Sunday Stitching post of 2020.  It's been a rough year for all of us and for many of us slow stitching helped keep us sane.  Each week whether I had something to post or not I would pop onto Kathy's Quilts to check out what Kathy and other bloggers were stitching.  Click the link and have a look for yourself, there are so many talented bloggers out there. https://kathysquilts.blogspot.com/2020/12/slow-sunday-stitching_27.html

I have completed the stitching of the little reindeer pattern I posted about last week, the pattern is from Hook Line & Tinker.  I used DMC 6 strand floss 820. This photo was taken before I washed off the Pellon Stick and Wash Away product.

On Christmas Eve I began stitching one in red, using DMC 6 strand floss 321, I finished stitching it some time on Christmas Day, and this one needed the stitch and wash product washed off as well but I wanted a photo first.  




I was actually thinking of doing another one in green floss but maybe next year.  I love the simplicity of the pattern and how it reminds me of folk art.  The designer of the pattern describes it as Inspired by the simplicity of Scandinavian design, this holiday reindeer pattern is perfect year-round.  I decided to use the stitch and wash product rather than trace it on the light box because I was just plain lazy and wanted to get stitching.  The blue one took me nearly a week to stitch, after not stitching for a while my fingers were quite sore after the first hour of stitching. 

I will be linking my post at Kathy's Quilts for the last Slow Sunday Stitching post of 2020, here is the link to https://kathysquilts.blogspot.com/2020/12/slow-sunday-stitching_27.html

I am sending a big thank you for stopping by and reading my blog and leaving a comment. Wishing all of you a very Happy New Year!