Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Time to breathe and stitch

Things here are finally beginning to quiet down so I have some time deck the halls with greenery and shiny objects and even get a few stitches in on one project or another.

I may even take a little time to browse the internet to find a reading challenge or two for the upcoming year.

Update a Few Hours later:
Over the past week I have squeezed out some time to get a small hand embroidery piece ready for stitching, I managed to prepare it for the light box so I could trace the pattern onto the fabric.
waiting on the light box
Believe me when I say I have been quite busy to get much of anything else done it would be another two days until I had time to sit and trace the pattern.
traced and ready for stitching
I used a blue micro pen for the tracing since I'll be stitching in blue thread (DMC 3844) as I look at the photo I just posted I can see my hand wasn't too steady, good thing this is a practice piece.

As I  mentioned at the start of this post things have quieted down I made my drop off at the post office and orders are trickling in for tomorrow's shipping so I have time to get in some 'Me' time so I
put in a few stitches, I am loving the blue thread and if you enlarge the photo you can see the fabric

has a white on white design, I wanted to experiment with my ability to trace on a printed fabric as well as stitch on the fabric too.  I mentioned this is a practice piece I didn't use a hoop while stitching, I opted not to use crayon tinting as I had first planned because frankly I didn't have enough time I really wanted to get in the stitching because it relaxes me.

I can work another piece with crayon tinting in the near future, I wanted to see if there was much difference coloring on the white on white fabric. I love Celtic Knot motifs and have used them often in other needlework projects.

This pattern is a free pattern from one of my favorite websites Mary Corbet's Needle and Thread

I love this site and return often when I am stuck and need a refresher on a stitch, a technique or just to admire her lovely work.  This is the site that has inspired me to once again pick up my needle and get back to hand embroidery.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A little this and that

Things are finally winding down here with the majority of the holiday rush over with, at this point if you haven't purchased it yet you waited too long and as in years past we still get a few inquiries as to whether it will arrive in time for Christmas, at this point we just say no. Sorry I don't stop what I'm doing to drop off one package to the post office. I'll be making a drop off at the post office in an hour and then start printing the waiting items for Monday morning shipping but for now I am enjoying a much needed break.

While the coffee is brewing I have time to make a short post though not much has been going on this week.  Yesterday the mail arrived with a few surprises for me.  My friend K sent me this lovely hand crafted journal.
I love the cowrie shell flower and the fabrics feel like recycled Sari fabrics which I love. The journal
is a nice size to tuck in my purse or crafting tote bag so I can take it along with me, the pages appear to be crafted from handmade paper. It's a thoughtful gift from a very cherished friend.

My friend Linda sent me a package filled with an assortment of magazines a note she enclosed informed me a gift subscription for 3 of them has been started.
Looks like I have something to read for the upcoming winter months, my issue of Tea Time came yesterday too! I have to say just looking at the cover has me yearning for the quieter calm of January.
My body is crying out for rest and relaxation after the hustle and bustle of the last month so I registered for a Crazy Quilt workshop on January 3rd.  I can't think of a better way to start a New Year.
The Crone's Cradle host some interesting workshops and other events throughout the year and this year I plan to attend a few more events and activities offered.

I noticed this lovely grouping of fabrics Botanical Blues on the back of one of the quilting magazines, I have to look for it.
Botanical Blues

embroidery panel
Well the coffee is ready so let me post this so I can get off a letter or two before I head to the post office, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Winter is on the horizon

We're having another cold snap here in north central Florida and tonight we are expected to have a frost with temps around 32 again, winter  is in the air and suddenly as if by magic, my taste buds have grown tired of pumpkin and gone in search of peppermint and spice flavors.

Have a holly jolly Christmas
It's the best time of the year
Well, I don't know if there'll be snow
But have a cup of cheer

From the song "A Holly Jolly Christmas"

I don't know about you, but I like that old Burl Ives Christmas tune, I take to heart his advice to "have a cup of cheer," though to me that means a cup of Christmas tea!

I'm waiting for my tea to brew so I thought I would share my tea break with you

Friday, December 5, 2014

Breathe in and exhale

Checking emails and spending a little time browsing my photo files to post something cheery.  With all the orders coming in from Amazon and Ebay the only crafting I get is looking at photos until after the new year.  Tis the season.
I don't know why but for some reason I love the look of the fabric blocks with the crochet granny squares edges or may be I am just too tired to really see it.
And in keeping with the season I must include a snowman, I'm not sure I ever mentioned this before in addition to witches I collect snowmen. Now I am off to do some yoga.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thinking bout them good ole days

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment.
The woman apologized and explained, "We didn't have this green thing back in my earlier days." The young clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations."She was right our generation didn't have the green thing in its day.
Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were truly recycled. But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.
Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks,
this was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribbling's. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags. But too bad we didn't do the green thing back then.

We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.
Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throwaway kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. 

Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right; we didn't have the green thing back in our day.
Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana.

In the kitchen we blended and stirred by hand because
many of us didn't have electric machines to do everything for us.
When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.
Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. 

We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she's right; we didn't have the green thing back then.
We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of
buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.
But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Embroidery piece stitching complete

Well after a few rough patches my crayon tinted embroidery piece is finally done now I just need to decide what to do with it.

When I was at the quilt show I found this Valori Wells fabric I thought would be fun to embroider.
And yesterday when I opened my mailbox a nice surprise was waiting for me, my friend in Israel sent me this Hamsa Hand kit, she has been keeping up with my embroidery escapades via my blog and wanted to encourage me to keep stitching.
I have no idea what I be working on next I have a few sketches in my ideas notebook so may be something from my creations.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Time to renew my gym membership

The weather here has turned cold again with today only expected to reach 57 degrees and tonight the temps are expected to once again drop down to 27 brrrrr!  This is one of the coldest Novembers I can recall since I moved here 20 years ago.  I actually felt the cold yesterday that halfway through my walk at the track I left and for the rest of the day I couldn't get me feet to feel warm, I have ceramic tile floors throughout the house and when the days turn cold it feels like I am walking on ice, the cold days don't last too long so it was time to pull out the warm woolly socks.

I renewed my gym membership today and decided to mix things up a bit and schedule a few training sessions over the next few weeks. After leaving the track yesterday I plan start putting in more time with workouts at the gym rather then walking the track everyday, I usually use the gym when its too hot during the summer or raining but these past few cold snaps I found myself really feeling the cold and my body joints were stiff and moving around the track was more of an effort, not hard to do but my body felt sore with each step.

Also I want to add weight lifting back to my routine a few days a week, I prefer to do that in the gym because if I drop a weight on the floor at home I will have broken tiles, with the arthritis in my hands lately my grip is weakening  and the floor at the gym has carpeting.

I picked up a sweet little sewing card pattern at the quilt show for a little card or tea wallet.
I want to make several of these nifty little wallets they are great for carry id without having to lug a wallet or purse.
A few events I plan to attend in the early start of 2015
I love buttons and this show sound like it would be a great way to add some unique buttons to my small collection.
This quilt show is not too far from home and on the way home I can stop at one of my favorite bead shops.
Here is another little wallet, made with less curve thanks to a cutting accident truth to tell I like it without the curves. I need to add a button where those black stitches are.
and a sweet little needle book I found following a link a few years back when I was making pin
needlebook closed
cushions and thread catchers.
needlebook opened

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Feed Sacks and More photos from the Quilt Show

While I was at the quilt show last week I had the pleasure of meeting one of the vendors with a booth selling feed sacks.
The Pat's Sacks booth was filled with a vast array of feed sacks, feed cloth, old patterns printed by various companies and this beautiful quilt made by her mother.

The vendor said her mother swapped with over 600 collectors to add to her collection, the blocks made for the quilt are signed by some of those people she swapped with.
When I first discovered feed sacks back in the mid 1980's I was repairing an heirloom quilt for a friend, I had several pieces of fabric to match as closely as I could but some were too modern by a stroke of luck I was browsing in shops one crisp autumn weekend and came across several scraps of  fabric for a mere twenty five cents, the top print was so close to one of the pieces in the quilt I had to buy it.
Hours later I looked inside the bag the hand printed tag  written on it was feed sack scraps 1933 how serendipitous, the quilt was made in 1933.  Over the years I have come across several feed sacks, some deteriorated and other nearly pristine, mostly I find small scrap pieces, what stays with me is the durability of these bags, the cotton fabric soft with age, many of the colors still crisp as if they were printed yesterday.   When I stepped into Pat's Sacks I was amazed with the selection she had with her, full size bags, pieces of bags in all sizes, and scraps too.
The above photo shows a few of the items offered by this wonderful vendor, and keeper of  feed sack history.  I was tempted to buy the Smokey the Bear sack I resisted because I know it would just be stuck in a bin and it really should be used or displayed,  the sweet jacket and the dress are made of feed sack.
I didn't leave the vendor empty handed I picked up a few pieces that caught my eye mostly with a shade of purple.
The pieces reminds me so much of the Aunt Grace reproduction 1930's fabric 
Feed sack
This is a Aunt Grace Reproduction below

Aunt Grace Reproduction fabric
Along with some wonderful stories, and pieces of fabric I left with a small token for stopping by the booth a packet of cotton seeds which I may attempt to plant some day. And here is a lovely link for some feed sack history.

I did visit all of other vendors at the quilt show and made a few purchases here and there, this fun panel which will most likely be mug mats some time or a tote bag.
A whimsical Lorelei panel because I just love them
A pattern using embroidery which will be put on the to embroider pile I am slowly making
And before I close my post today I will leave you with a few more photos from the quilt show.

Time does march on when we are otherwise occupied, its been a lovely week where the weather is concerned cool crisp mornings, sunshine and warm afternoons and yesterday we had cloudy skies most of the day giving way to some rain.

The leaves of my sycamore tree are fast falling to the ground, brown and brittle and swirling in the air like fairies whenever the breeze picks up, the neighbor across the street has a sycamore tree and his leaves blow into my front yard daily, but by the end of the day they are gone, many are  gathered beneath a shrub or piled in a corner of the back yard slowly rotting away once again becoming part of the garden.