Sunday, October 25, 2015

Holly King hand embroidery slowly making progress

The hand embroidery on the Holly King block is slowly progressing, this week for some reason I just wasn't in the mood to stitch, finally last night I had the urge to pick up my needle to stitch the leaves on the mistletoe. A perfect way to spend a quiet evening and continue where I left off today.

I have been having bouts of numbness and tingling in my hands again so I'm sure that had a lot to do with me not in the mood to stitch. Its such an uncomfortable sensation bordering on painful if I hold something in my hands too long.

With the cooler weather comes the drying of skin and for me the splits in my fingers, so I dug out one of my favorite tools, the leather thimble, its the only thimble I am comfortable wearing, I don't use a thimble often but when I do its this one: Nimble Thimle.
I first came across this type of thimble back in 1989 at a quilt shop in Allentown, NJ after it was suggested to me by the shop owner, back then I did all my quiltmaking by hand, (for the most part I still do). After the first few days I adapted to the awkwardness on my finger and realized my finger wasn't aching with sticks and stabs from those ever sharp needles.

This is one of those essential tools if they are in stock I buy all of them off the rack whenever I come across them because not all quilt shops or craft stores sell them and if they do most of the time the large size is gone. I use mine until it falls apart.

With the cooler weather settling in central Florida I'll start working on a few larger quilt projects through the autumn and winter months along with the hand embroidery projects.

I was shopping at Target a few days ago and couldn't resist buying a new box of Crayola crayons for color tinting some of my emboridery projects.
I chose the box with 120 different colors, there was a box of 96 but what the heck for a few cents more I may as well have more colors, sure I could have chosen one close to the color but that type A personality still rears its beastly head at times.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wellness and Weighing In Wednesday

Well after two weeks of missed Weight Watcher's meetings I finally managed to make it to a meeting today, I weighed in and I'm happy to report I am down -1.6 pounds, which has me quite surprised because there was a problem with my blood pressure medication and after not having one of my medications for over two weeks I thought for sure I was going to see a gain.

One of the medications I take is a diuretic combination medication and the wise (not) doctor refused to refill the perscription until she saw me, apparently the month before the pharmacy called to get a 30 courtesy refill. Well I made the appointment explaining I need the medication as my BP spikes and I am a heart attack survivor, only to have the office call and reschedule. This happened again, I was really miffed, last week I finally saw the doctor, she remarks how the medication is working because without the meds my BP was 210/109. Uh Duh! 

I have to say 4 hours after restarting the medication I was alert, and feeling more myself, I managed to walk the following day though not as long or as far as I would have liked, it took four days to start feeling well. 

The first week off the medication wasn't too bad though by mid week I could tell all was not well, my energy level was quite low and I was very tired and warm all the time. By week two I was napping 3-4 hours so soundly I referred to it as the sleep of the dead, I am not normally a sound sleeper.  My enegry level was gone and any type of pyhsical actvity had me gasping for breath and the grumpiness slid in and the warm feeling changed to hot compound that with hot flashes what a week.

I left the doctor's office not only very irrate because I hate having my medications messed about especially since my BP tends to spike.  I  walked out with a plan to find a new and hopefully competent doctor.  

I think eating foods considered natural diuretics was helpful in me not retaining as much water as I would normally, I could feel the water building up in my ankles and hands, see it in my puffy face and the fact my clothes felt tight. The scale would go up 4 pounds and down 1, every other day or so and then after a week of mainly watermelon, celery, tea and lemon water the scale stopped climbing.

All the years of herbal remedies, eating healthy, eating right and knowing my body was beneficial in trying to keep things balanced. 
We have been having lovely Fall days this week with the temps barely hitting the mid 80's, the last several mornings it was 55 degrees with evening temps about the same. I have to say its a pleasure to be out and about on the walking trail when the air is cool and comfy. I think these are the days most people in Florida wait all year for, I know I sure do. It is raining now after a very overcast morning.

This week I'm feeling nostalgic, a little homesick and feeling the loss of a my dear friend Sandy who passed away a few years ago. I always feel the loss more in the autumn  or when I'm at a quilt show. When I lived in New Jersey my friend Sandy was my first quilting buddy, in the Autumn I would schedule days off so we could go antique shopping in one of our favorite places in New Jersey, the area was rural and the leaves were just ablaze in color, there was a wonderful quilt shop there where we would spend a few hours, and a few dollars, there was always somethng going on. I can still smell the aroma of spiced hot cider when I think of her. The quilt shop and a few antique shops served it every fall. 

When I moved to Florida each autumn she would send me a small packet of colorful leaves. She would glue a few to her letters and tell me where she was when she picked up the leaf, and always there was a leaf from Allentown NJ where our favorite Quilt shop was. It may sound like such a small gesture yet meant so much to me because I missed the change of season terribly the first few years I moved here.  I have plans to drive into the mountains of northern Georgia to take in the colorful leaves and you can bet I will be thinking of my friend Sandy while I'm there.  I'm going to do some apple picking and I'll research the area for a quilt shop and may be with some luck there will be hot cider some where along my journey.

Monday, October 12, 2015

October Ort Report

Wow! Are we really 12 days into October?  This month is flying by so quickly I feel like my head is spinning.

I've been getting some hand embroidery stitching in when I can, made some progress on a few projects thanks in part to my participation in the 2015 TUSAL, not sure what that is well click on the link and see for yourself

Here are my Orts for the October 2015 New Moon, you will see some browns, red and greens among
the black threads. I finished the second block to the Hocuspocusville Quilt, I'll be starting the third
Block 2 Hester's U-Pick
block shortly I needed a break from all the black thread and those tiny letters which seen to go on forever.
I did get in some stitching on my Holly King piece, the pine cones look a bit wonky right now but once the holly and mistletoe leaves are stitched they should look fine.
Holly King
I noticed when I'm working on an embroidery piece some days I get into such a state of calm and quiet my needle seems to flow through the fabric without me even noticing I've made so many stitches until I come to the end of the thread.

My ort jar is filling up nicely with only two more ort reports for the year I hope to achieve a full jar this year.
October 2015
My busy season is coming up and if its anything like last year for most of November and December I won't get in much, if any stitching progress made.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Block two

Block two hand embroidery is complete, I put the final stitch in last night, now it needs to be ironed then on to block three.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Peace Square Update

Back in June I began making this peace square to take part in the Artist for Peace project across the pond in the UK.
all traced
stitching begins
completed and waiting for pressing
I finished the peace square and sent it off on June 30th and after weeks of being in postal limbo I received a message it had finally arrived.
Here is my peace square among many others waiting to be sewn together so it can go on tour.
My square is the sixth one down in the last row. Here is a link to the Facebook page if you would like to view more of the beautiful squares made for the Artist for Peace Project.