Thursday, January 19, 2017

Year of Starts

Hello Friends,

Over on the Facebook Stitch Maynia group, they have a huge number of SALs that you can join. There aren't strict rules for them, just join in if you like and do what you can. Since I don't want a lot of obligation with my stitching, I appreciate that attitude a lot and I've decided to join in on a couple of them this year.

One of them is a variation on last year's Year of Starts where some intrepid stitchers actually had one start every day. That one is not for me! But this year they have a SAL where you have a new start on the 17th of each month. That I can do, especially if I choose something fairly small so that I can have a finish in between my bigger projects.

So for January, I dug around in my charts and found this little one that has languished in the box for years: Little House Needleworks, Blossoms & Blackbirds.

This is the perfect size, 65 x 65 stitches, and a simple design to give me the break I need from the more complicated Victoria Sampler pieces. I'm working it on the 28 ct Flax linen with DMC that's called for on the chart. Luckily I had a nice big piece of the linen in my stash, so I cut out what I needed and set to work on the 17th.

And here is where I ended that evening. It's a small thing, so I've been stitching in hand - like I started out doing 34 years ago! :D

Well, the thaw is starting following the freezing rain we had Tuesday thru Wednesday. This morning the driveway was the most treacherous it's been all season and so schools are closed once again - that's the 7th day. Poor things will be in school till the end of June at this rate! The main arterials in town are fine, but neighborhoods are skating rinks. But with 40 degree temps today, maybe we'll be inundated with slush, and then probably have a refreeze tonight. Ugh!

My Bunco group was rescheduled from last week to this week, so I'm crossing my fingers that we can actually get together tonight! And I owe my granddaughter Ilse a shopping trip and lunch. Her birthday was the 9th, but the weather just has not cooperated with us - we're trying again tomorrow!

I hope Mother Nature is treating you better than us!  Happy stitching!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Second Finish

I finished my second WIP for 2017! Presenting A Spot of Winter by The Drawn Thread!

This was such a fun one to stitch with the different eyelet stitches, smyrna stitches and the three little trees are sprat's head stitches - a new one for me.

On Red Velvet Inscription I have another mini finish - the J square:

This weekend we had continuous freezing fog. It looks like a light fluffy snow, but there's very little water content, so it blows around and when it finally lands, just puts a puff on top of the snow. It can be blown right off your car. Strange stuff! So yes, it's still cold - we haven't been above 20 degrees for days and days.

While it's so cold, I've been doing a little reorganizing with those new floss drawers I bought. Way back in the 80s and 90s, I bobbinated all my floss and kept them in those plastic divided boxes. Then I started to collect back up DMC and I stored them in snack-size zip locs in photo storage boxes like this:

You can see I clipped together sections with large safety pins. It was getting to be a pain going from here to there to collect floss for new projects, especially when you also throw in overdyed floss or silks too. Now I'm getting all the DMC together into one space:

I hadn't yet finished labeling all the drawers when I snapped the photo, but now every drawer is filled. It'll be so much easier to track what I have and put it away when I'm done with a project!

So it was a good weekend! We watched the football games and I made an amazing batch of chili that we ate on all weekend.

Oh, and my youngest daughter has herself a different car, a 2011 Ford Focus to replace the one she totaled when she hit a deer coming back home from snowboarding a couple of weeks ago. It was a terrific deal - but she's had to learn to shift gears and she's picked it up really fast. It's fun to see her so happy. :)

I'll be back with more later in the week. I'm participating in the Stitch Maynia Year of Starts where I will start a new project on the 17th of each month. I'm thinking most of these starts will be smaller projects as I have enough larger ones going already. Really looking forward to this!

Have a great day and stitch all the things!!

Friday, January 13, 2017

The End

. . . of the Joyful World SAL for me! Yes, December is finished and I'm quite happy with it.

December - Joyful World SAL

I solved my problem with the white dove getting lost on the background by backstitching around it. My first try was with gray, but that came out. Second try was with the same blue that I used in the base; the more I stitched it in, the better I liked it. Many thanks to Maja at The Snowflower Diaries for gifting the stitching world with this wonderful SAL! 

Spot of Winter has taken another turn out from my wip pile. It's coming along rather nicely and should be finished real soon. DT designs usually call for one strand of floss and the first bit I stitched had to come out because I normally stitch 2 over 2 and I just went into autopilot when starting it this session with two threads. No biggie, pulled it out and started again.

The Drawn Thread - Spot of Winter
Ooooeeeee, we're still in the deep freeze! When I went to the bank the afternoon, my car said it was 8 degrees. Luckily no new snow the last couple of days. But schools were closed three days this week and late start the last two - and we have a holiday on Monday. When school closes or starts late, we do not have adult ESL classes so I haven't seen my students for three weeks now. I'm eager to get back and find out how they've done during this extreme weather. That is if any show up for class Tuesday as they have a hard time coming out when it's so cold. But they say we will have freezing rain on Tuesday, so class may be cancelled that day too! Argh!!!

Another weekend is upon us and I'm looking forward to watching the Seahawks game Saturday with some of my kids who enjoy football. Chili is on the menu - sounds so good for a cold day. With the extreme cold, I've turned down the thermostat a bit as the heat pump just can't keep up, so hot soup is perfect - and I have my heating pad on my stitching chair and lots of blankets out. 

Hoping for a warming trend next week!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

More Snow


and inside

That's been the story in these parts. Saturday and Sunday we had snow and more snow, probably 4-5 inches on top of what we already had. Monday we briefly saw the sun and it was gorgeous! I wish I could have take some pictures of the snow-covered hills shining brightly against the blue sky. Now on Tuesday morning, we're getting more snow, perhaps 1-3 inches. And we haven't had the melting in between storms that is normal for here.

The silver lining in all the cold and snow: we shouldn't have a tick and flea problem in the spring. Gotta find the good!

As for stitching, I've been working on Jingle Bells Xmas Tree Farm, mostly adding more snow to the little scene. I tried to stitch last night while watching the College Championship game between Alabama and Auburn and really didn't get much accomplished, especially during that last quarter and last play when Auburn pulled out the win with 1 second on the clock! Wow, what a great game and win for Auburn!

With the extremely cold weather my battery just hasn't wanted to do its job and have had to get a jump start from the other family cars. So yesterday while the sun was shining I took advantage of the break and went to the battery shop where they promptly tested my car and replaced the battery - all in 30 minutes! Talk about a happy customer! The waiting area is nice and I enjoyed sitting with coffee reading the newspaper.

Well, I'll be going in to work this afternoon, but in the meantime, I'd better get some chores done.

Have a great stitchy day!

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Finding the Lost

Have you ever misplaced a project? Usually I put a WIP away in a bag and the bag gets stashed away somewhere - out of sight, out of mind. But last month one of my projects went AWOL.

After returning home from Boise over the Thanksgiving weekend, I sat down to work on December in the Joyful World SAL. I was closing in on a finish so I was excited to get back to work. Problem was, I couldn't find the project in the bag I took along on the trip. I searched all over and asked my SIL if I had left it there, but it wasn't there. Christmas activities took over so I just got busy with that and thought, it'll surely show up one of these days.

Thankfully when I was prepping the car to get some of my grandkids yesterday, I found it under the back seat! What a relief! So I put in a few stitches last night.

I had some placement issues in the design, but it doesn't bother me enough to pull out any stitches. What is bothering  me is the white dove not showing up very well. I did a little backstitching with gray, but wasn't happy with that either. Perhaps I'll experiment with a couple of other colors and restitch it. Hmmm . . .

A Spot of Winter is coming along too. Drawn Thread designs are such a joy to me as I really enjoy the specialty stitches. I did get a little confused on one of the eyelet stitches so a couple of them will be ripped out and redone.

The colors accurately reflect what I see out my window these days. Today the sun is shining and the sky is clear, so that means the temperatures are really cold - it was 1F when I woke up this morning. So the snow hasn't had a chance to melt, although the roads have been cleared pretty well. At least we don't have the record levels of snow that our family in Boise is having to deal with!

I hope my N. American friends are staying warm and dry. My son is flying home today from a visit to Nashville, TN, so I hope he doesn't have any weather delays - it's been snowing in Denver today!

Make it a good stitchy day!