~ Rug Hooking ~ Penny Rugs ~ Cross Stitch ~ Punchneedle ~ Quilting ~ Crochet ~ Needlepoint ~ Vintage Good Life ~

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Moosies, Wins and Christmas Preparations

I was so relieved when the 5 o'clock whistle blew on Friday! Four wonderful, peaceful, merry spirited and creative days ahead of me! Whoo-hoo!!!! Christmas really is the most wonderful time of year... you just have to realize what's important and run with it... 

So, this year I kept decorations to minimum... because the main decoration is the tree, right? Yep. We have a real balsam fir this year... just finished decorating it yesterday afternoon... hopefully I'll be able to get a good picture of  it to share with you by Christmas Day. In the meantime here a couple of gatherings I did manage to get some decent pictures of. The lighting in my home is not so good... which is the reason most of my stitching finishes have been photographed on my back patio or front steps (instead of where they are displayed in my home).

A vase of flowers on the dining room table...

Snowmen and santa in one corner of my living room. The Snowman on the left I made from a kit from The Cheswick Company. The Santa pull toy is a fabulous creation by Lisa Evans. She is the sister of The Old Tattered Flag. Visit her website and look under notions. There just might be a couple more Santas left to purchase. They are paper mache and hand painted with beautiful details. An heirloom treasure! The big Snowman is spun glass (or plastic?)... it was purchased in Maine by my Dad about 30 years ago. My favorite snowman for sure! On the floor is an original hooked rug by Joanne McIllmurray! She is one awesome rug hooker! ;-)

This "window" hangs in the front porch of my home. It's one of the first things I bought for my home when we moved here. It's made from recycled barn wood and the panes are mirrors. I tucked some mason jars, greens and two make-do's from Rock River Stitches into the bottom tray.


And much to my surprise and delight... Debbie of Woolensails sent me a very thoughtful package of goodies! See those two moosies? Those are hand embroidered ornaments... stitches and aged to perfection! Debbie also included some snowmen patterns and garden house cross stitch pattern for me to stitch! Thanks so much Debbie!


This month I was also the lucky winner of a Socketbook over at Crazy As A Loom blog! What's a socketbook? Why, it's a pocket book made from socks of course!!! And, those socks are so brilliantly colored and S*O*F*T... stitched together to be a perfect way to carry books, magazines, iPad, or a stitching project... I simply LOVE it! Thanks again Hillary! Visit Hillary's blog... she's weaving some beautiful dishtowels... has a best buddy named Roy, a real sweet cat named Sydney and a grand daughter that has a smile that will melt your heart! :-)

I'm thinking I should really blog more often, so I'm not cramming so much into one post? lol! It seems the older I get, the faster time flies! Must be because climbing the hill takes energy... and once you make it Over The Hill... it's so easy and quick to keep rolling down the hill? lol! Which brings me to this...


Yes. Smart Start is a healthy cereal made by Kellogg's. And if you saved box tops and mailed a check for postage... they sent you this bowl. Unfortunately... I have lost my taste for that cereal and now use it to hold my Cadbury Milk Chocolate Balls! Because every Smart day Starts with Chocolate! ;-)

And, last but not least.... Lasagne. Yah. My favorite food group. It's tonight's dinner with some garlic bread...


Love cooking... hate dishes...


...got a dishwasher for that.... cuz who wants to spend hours cleaning up ooey gooey baked on cheeeeeeeeeze.... 

Remember... time is speeding up... use what you have left wisely...

Until next time... stay healthy & keep on smiling!

:-)





Sunday, December 2, 2012

December Ramblings

I'm joining the "I can't believe it's December already" club... lol! Cuz... this entire year really did fly by fast. I could remember when I was a kid that it took

F * O * R * E * V * E * R

for Christmas to get here... the anticipation of staying up late enough on Christmas Eve to actually see Santa and his reindeer... ahhh... the presents... and when we awoke on Christmas morning... did it snow during the night so that we could at least see the reindeer's footprints?

Now, it seems it's either hot and sunny (Summer), or cold and grey (Winter). And those folks that are in retail are always two seasons/holidays ahead... is your head spinning yet? Mine was. So, I decided to slow it down a bit. Take a deep breath and just "Be". Of course, this decision happened only just within the last couple of months, so it's still the transition stage here.

I used to be stitching and creating for the season ahead... I've decided it might just be more enjoyable if I slow down and stitch the season I'm in. In the moment kind of thing. And, I can say it really IS more enjoyable. I haven't been doing this stuff long enough to accomplish speed AND accuracy... so for now I will just try to be accurate... even if it means pulling out a few stitches or loops to get it just right.

Here's progress on the current Stacy Nash Girl's Club offered by Country Sampler Quilt Shop in Spring Green, WI. The piece with "Snow" on it is an ornament... and the piece with the house is a pinkeep. Plenty more to go on that with a border, flower pots, snowflakes...


I will try to enjoy stitching this project... without any thought in my head that I already have "Christmas at Hollyberry Lane" quickly approaching my mailbox...


*sigh*

I *heart* this sampler.
Yes. This pic is borrowed from Stacy Nash's blog.
You can visit her blog if you wish to learn how purchase
a copy of the pattern for yourself.

Since cross stitching is easier for me in daylight. I thought I might have something else going on in the evenings. So, I remembered I had purchased "All Is Calm" and it's floss kit from Country Stitches last year. It's a punchneedle design and uses 3 strand Valdani's. I usually punch with 6-strand DMC... so, this is taking me longer than usual. And, I can see from taking this pic, that I need to repunch the "m".


And, just for giggles... I'm trying my luck at forcing hyacinth bulbs. I've never tried forcing bulbs before so this is new to me. I changed the water after I took this pic. I've had the bulbs in a dark area for about a week now and I can see the roots are growing good and the tips of shoots are beginning. I have paperwhite bulbs too. I need to get some moss or vermiculite to start those (I think)... always one ingredient short... lol!


So that's what I've been up to. I've also been reading lots of blogs. On one or two of those blogs, I read that we should "Enjoy the journey to Christmas Day". Those words stuck with me for some reason... made me realize it's not all about "getting stuff done and off my list"... but a process that should be enjoyed and savored... it doesn't really matter if it all "get's done"... it's about enjoying what you are doing right now. It's a magical time of year...

Until next time... stay healthy & keep on smiling!


Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Thankful Thanksgiving

Hello and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! We are certainly thankful for getting back our little bit of normal here in our home and lives. I've always enjoyed a simple life... but I really do enjoy me some electricity too... brighter lights in the evening and the spoils of a washer and dryer! Whoo-hoo! Seriously... I did good without electricity for awhile... until I realized I was soon to run out of clean clothes! ;-)

We're all good now. Home is safe. Tree is gone. Yard is clean. Tummys are full... back to stitching...


This pinkeep was started the night of the storm. It's a design by Country Rustic Primitives called "Bewitched". I stitched 1 over 2 in called for DMC threads on some prewashed osnaburg. The back of this pillow is black wool. Front and back was stitched together right sides facing out. I cut some fringes in the black wool and then pulled some threads out of the osnaburg for a frayed look and stuffed it firm with natural cotton. I think the messy edges of this pillow work well with the design... kinda like straw sticking out of a scarecrows shirt...

Anyways, I can't believe how quick this year is coming to an end. We missed out on some Trick or Treating because of the storm... today is Thanksgiving Day... and Christmas will be here probably before I get all the decorations up and cookies baked!

So, for now... I will enjoy the blessing that is today... and hold on to this bit of peaceful heaven for just awhile longer...

Until next time... stay healthy and keep on smiling!


Friday, November 9, 2012

Sandy and Athena

The Monday after the previous post was mostly OK during the day.... but, as it turned to dark in the evening, the winds of Sandy really started picking up. Then, the lights started to flicker. I watched from the front door as the skies lit up with bright green and turquoise from transformers exploding around us and in the distance. The sound of the winds a constant growl. And then, the lights went out. No power. No rain though either.... so that meant no flooding for our neighborhood.

We awoke Tuesday with less winds, a yard full of leaves and small branches.... and a backyard with a pine tree squashing our chain link fence. But, that's OK. The tree missed our garage by 6ft. :-)


Our home survived... we survived... we're OK. :-)

Yes... we had trees and wires and poles down in our neighborhood and surrounding towns. Yes... many traffic lights were not working on the major highways and many back roads were not passable (because of said trees, wires and poles). Yes... we waited in line for gasoline to fuel our generators and fill our cars so that we can still get to work... and yes... it was 9 days after Hurricane Sandy when Nor'easter Athena went through...


Same tree... but, with snow? Yep...

While we have our power restored... there are many, MANY folks that still do not have power after 11 days... and many are delayed in rebuilding the damage to their homes... and getting back to the "new normal"... I'm sure you have seen the devastation on your local news channels and internet... please keep them in your prayers...

Until next time... stay healthy & keep on smiling!


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Enjoying The Calm...

Today is a perfect 68 degrees with sunshine and a warm to slightly cool breeze. Gorgeous colored leaves all ablaze in their warmest golds, rusts and reds float through the air and color the ground to a crunchy kaleidoscopic perfection... ahhhh... sweet Autumn... and then, I turn on the radio or tv and I learn that a storm called Sandy will be in town starting tomorrow and won't be leaving us alone until Wednesday. 50-60 mph winds and 5-10 inches of rain... along with storm surges... will bring us some flooding and power outages. Hopefully everyone in it's path has taken the necessary precautions to prepare their home, family and pets for safety... with any luck... Sandy just might stay out to sea... I keep hoping anyways...

In the meantime, I thought I'd share with you some of the goodies that have been showing up in my mailbox over the last couple of months. First, how about these lovely baskets from Ann over at 1803 Ohio Farm Baskets? I have purchased from Ann in the past, and when I need some baskets, I always look to see what's in her shop before I go anywhere else. The reason is simple... she makes and sells only the best! Packs everything up nice and ships quickly too! The Woolhooker basket is keeping my wool quilt kits safe... and the larger basket to the right is keeping my Spring Bouquet Block of The Month organized. The small basket in the foreground will be used to hold snippets while I hook a rug. Don't you just love the clothes pin legs? You can visit Ann's blog here and her Etsy store here.


Next to arrive was a gift from Kim over at MyFieldOfDreams. See the Halloween edition of Just Cross Stitch Magazine over on the right? It has so many wonderful projects included... one of their best issues yet! Thanks again Kim! I haven't started on any yet... but, I do have 4 more days before Halloween arrives! lol!

Have you had the chance to visit Paulette of Sweet P Quilting & Creations? Well... you should! She is always sharing pictures of the gorgeous Canadian countryside... wool quilts... cotton quilts... desserts... garage sale finds... her recent venture into free motion quilting... and (of course) a giveaway or two! I was the lucky winner of her most recent giveaway which was a copy of Black Bird Design's When The Cold Wind Blows... soooooo many beautiful projects to keep me busy when the cold wind is blowing!!! Thanks so much Paulette! I hope to have that Christmas quilt stitched by NEXT Christmas! lol!

And the most recent arrival showed up just yesterday! These are my first official Christmas 2012 decorations! :-) They are exquisitely hand crafted by Tammy of Rock River Stitches! I have quite a few of her pieces and love them ALL! You can visit her blog here and her Etsy store here... Tammy sells patterns and completed pieces. You're almost guaranteed to find something of hers that you will love!

I did get some stitches in during the past few weeks. I finished stitching on The Bittersweet Is Blooming... it's a pattern by Pam of Primitive Basketcase. I'll share pictures when it is completely finished... and today I have a couple of goodies from Country Rustic Primitives that I am stitching on... pictures of those pieces next post too!

Until next time... stay healthy and keep on smiling!

~Sharon




Friday, October 5, 2012

It's Radio Time!

I've been spending quite a bit of time enjoying the cool, crisp air that arrives with autumn... along with the colorful leaves, mums and pumpkins. A couple of weeks ago, we attended the bi-annual Radio Show & Swap at Renninger's in Kutztown, PA. As always, "That Radio Guy" had his video camera at hand to capture some of the days events! :-) So, take a break from what your doing... park your fanny in a comfy chair and take a gander at this little video...



Smiles!

~Sharon

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Keep Calm & Create

Keep Calm & Create Thursday! Best advice ever!!! I took a vacation day to venture out to Hereford, PA. The destination to this road trip was The Cinnamon Stick! A loverly stone farmhouse filled to the brim with smiles, sweets, primitives, handmades and antiques! Judy put together some craft kits so that folks can gather and create together and start some new friendships.

My first find was the store owner Judy having some halloween fun with Joanne!

Then, I ventured up to the attic "creative laboratory" to learn quite a bit about paper crafting. New to me was making rosettes with a Martha Stewart rosette maker. Punching grommets with a monster of a grommet tool. And, distressing with ink and stamping! Put them all together and something fun happens.... this is the Halloween Garland kit... I created this one from the kit. It took only about 3 hours...


After the creating.... it was time for some shopping! :-) Here are a couple of pictures of the store area. Lots of good treats all around! Judy always has some beverage and snacks for you to sample. This day I tried some apple cider and some dips with pretzels... and of course, there are candies all about the store too! It is, after all, tricks & treats season! :-)



See the pumpkin lady on the pumpkin painted table? She AND the table came home with me to live in my living room! She is handmade by a local artist, and the craftsmanship and details are wonderful!

A very enjoyable day! I'm already looking forward to my next visit! :-)

The cool autumn breezes finally arrived here in Central NJ... so I have been spending most of my spare time outside in the yard. I've been clearing out the tired Summer flowers and making way for some mumms and Autumn decorations. It's also that time when the inside of the house gets a good scrubbing. Time to make everything warm and cozy so that time at home can be used for relaxing, baking, stitching and hooking. Ahhhhh... my favorite time of the year!

Until next time... stay healthy & keep on smiling!

:-)


Monday, September 3, 2012

Wisdom House Block 5

Happy Labor Day!!! Happy September!!! The heat has left our area for awhile, but the humidity remains. One step closer to the cool, crisp days of Autumn... 

I'm also one block closer to finishing a Block of The Month quilt I started way back in February of 2011. It's called Wisdom House and is a design by Jan Patek. This particular block is #5 and finishes off at 20" x 16".


It's raining here today, so not a very good photography day. But, these blocks are all stitched with homespuns and look very soft and prim. The hand stitching that is involved with the needle turn applique is very relaxing. It was so nice to get back to this project. I'm going to be continuing on this while also mixing in some smaller cross stitch projects and maybe a wool applique or two. 

The next post will involve another pattern giveaway... so, don't forget to visit here again sometime soon!


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Love One Another

Thanks to everyone that entered the Grey House giveaway... Kathy, the pattern is out in today's mail!

I've begun to take baby steps to achieve my goal of stitching up all the kits I have on my shelves... here's a wee start with...


Love One Another
Design and Kit by

The wool for the body and heart of this bunny was included in the kit... along with the unbleached cotton for his little soft tail. His face was backstitched with DMC. And, the message on the heart was also backstitched with DMC, then whipstitched in place. I stuffed him firm with natural cotton batting, so he is pretty heavy. Finished up 17" tall from the tip of his ears to the bottom of his butt and 7-1/2" wide. This was a quick project... taking only one afternoon from start to finish.

I'm thinking the next project is going to clear a larger spot off my shelf... I'm heading off to prep the next block for Wisdom House by Jan Patek. It's a BOM I started nearly two years ago... needleturn applique... here I come!!!! :-)

Until next time... stay healthy and keep on smiling!

:-)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday's Winner!

Congratulations to

Kathy L.

You are the winner of the "Grey House" pattern!
Please email your snail mail address
Happy stitching to you!

I did manage a finish of a very small kit that has been hidden in my stash for over a year now... it's not a quilt, rug, needle punch or cross stitch... pics to be posted here in a couple of days!

Until then... stay healthy & keep on smiling!

:-)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Grey House

As the Summer heat and humidity continues... so do the small stitch-a-thons in front of our little air conditioner... here's the latest "almost finish"....


Grey House
Design by Nan Lewis

Grey House is a very enjoyable stitch because Nan used a couple of different stitches to add visual interest. I especially like the technique for the willow branches! :-) I stayed with most of the suggested thread colors. A couple of them needed to be substituted because I used a 32 ct natural linen which is slightly darker than the sample pictured on the pattern. Nan was nice enough to include a chart of every number so that we could stitch whichever date was meaningful to us. So, I decided it would be good to stitch the year that we purchased our home. But, since the 90's are not all that "prim", I followed the ol' standby of subtracting a hundred years and came up with 1897. :-) Anyways, it's an "almost finish" because I plan on framing it. But, I need to find a frame first... and, at the rate I'm moving this Summer? It could be weeks (possibly months) before it actually gets framed and hung on the wall... ;-)

Another past time that is good to do when it's HOT... is to sit and think! lol! So, I've been thinking it's about time I did something with the scattered heaps of patterns, wool and fabrics that I aspire to stitch and hook and needlepunch! Since I've already wasted countless hours trying to organize them (not too successfully)... I've decided that I'm going to just jump in and start stitching with the big kits (mostly quilts) and then move on down the line to the next smaller items which would be a rug hooking kit and then about a half dozen rug patterns... that should at least free up some space on my shelves that I can think a bit more clearly! :-) So, the next few posts will be on the progress of stitching the quilt BOM's and kits that I have accumulated over the years.

And... another thing that is good to keep the pattern inventory under control is to pass along the patterns I have completed. (Because I KNOW my favorite designers will create MORE irresistible patterns quicker than I can stitch or even store them!) So, if your still reading this post, then you are already eligible to win the pattern for Grey House! Yep... just leave a comment on this post to let me know you are interested in winning this pattern... and I will pick a name Thursday, August 23. And, one more thing, if you are a "no-reply blogger" please make sure you mention your email address in your comment. That way I can get a note to you if you are chosen as the winner! Remember... this giveaway is for the pattern... not a finished piece.

Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Promises, Promises...

I make promises to myself all the time.

I promise, "This will be my last bowl of ice cream. Then I'll start my diet tomorrow"

I promise, "Just 5 more minutes, and then I'll get out of bed"

I promise, "Just this one more pattern, and then I won't buy any more"

I promise, "No more BOM's until I finish the 4 I have going now"

And then...

Country Stitches created "Word Plays". Yes. A monthly pattern release that had words and elements and colors to celebrate each month... not on auto-ship, but a choice... to stitch one... or all.

And so... I promised "I will not start this (Oct 2011) as I have too many "of the month's" going on already."

And so... I resisted.

Until a certain someone mentioned that it would be a great idea to stitch a person's Birth Month Word Play... and give it to them as a Birthday gift...

Hmmmmm...

Now, I know a certain someone that has cheered me on through all my Snow Days stitches, taught me many quilting tricks, gifted me with a handmade Iced Mocha Tote, gifted me an embroidered strawberry pinkeep, and has just plain ol' been a great (and silly) friend! :-)

And today... Jacque received her February Word Play Birthday Present in the mail!!!


And...

Since stitching these Word Plays are so dang relaxing and fun...

I promise...

To stitch them ALL!!! *grin*

lol!


Monday, July 16, 2012

Cool Stitching

It's been hot and humid here in Central Jersey... so, the usual golfing, gardening and car cruises have been put on hold until some sane temperatures arrive. I don't mind though... because I have plenty of small projects that are very portable so that stitching in front of the AC becomes the new Summer trend! :-)

I picked some small cross stitch projects and have enjoyed both of these tremendously... the threads and designs sure can make a person smile and keep their minds on good thoughts!

I do enjoy Americana stitches... this latest is called "America" and it is a design from Nan Lewis of Threadwork Primitives. I stitched this with some Gentle Art threads on linen and backed it with a red and cream fabric.


America
Threadwork Primitives
32 count linen
Gentle Art Threads
7052-Schoolhouse Red, 7054-Chalk, 7055-Uniform Blue


I have a few designs of hers and look forward to stitching them all! Visit Nan's blog and check out her latest releases!

This next piece is called "Pumpkin Row". I purchased this as a kit from Country Sampler Quilt Shop a couple of years ago... and finally got the courage to finish it up! What took the "courage"? Some "new to me stitches" that's what... this piece was both fun to do and a little bit of a learning curve too! It included the regular cross stitch, the smyrna stitch and some backstitching for accents. Then came the fob. Making the twisted chord and overcast stitching the front of the fob to the back of the fob was another new to me technique. It all worked out pretty well I think... though the overcasting the front and back together should go a bit quicker and neater next time! ;-)


Pumpkin Row
Chessie & Me
32 count linen
Various Anchor, Weeks Dye Works and DMC threads


You can click on the pictures to enlarge. The other side of the fob has the crow stitched on it. The crow, leaves, pumpkin stems and squash blossoms were all done with the smyrna stitch. A real fun stitch! Visit Chessie & Me blog to see what they have been up to!

That's about it for now... thanks for taking the time to enjoy some stitches with me!





Friday, July 6, 2012

This 'n That

With Summer comes sunshine, warm days, thunderstorms and relaxation... time to take it slow and sip on many ice teas and enjoy lots of ice cream!

I've put the Snow Days project aside for awhile just to play a bit with some smaller projects. Mostly cross stitch, but some applique too. I'd really like to get hooking on a rug... but try and get comfortable sitting under a wool rug in this heat? lol! It's supposed to cool down into the 80's next week... so I may just have to get the wool and hook out then! :-)

In the meantime... I've added a couple of items to my Etsy Store. One of my favorite magazines is American Patchwork & Quilting. And, in the June 2012 issue was a pattern by Kathy Cardiff of The Cottage at Cardiff Farms. Love the design... but wanted it a different size. So, I shortened the stem a bit and made this purple one. The sunflower was another spin off the same pattern, though even smaller and a bit more prim with the stitches.


I had a surprise in the mail too! It's a redwork strawberry pinkeep from Jacque! Strawberries and stitching are the perfect combo! Thanks so much Jacque!


I did a little shopping too... found this great sewing accessory from BeanInHandy over at Etsy. It's a good sized bobbin wrapped in a gorgeous tangerine colored thread. It holds an embroidery scissor with scissor fob and also a thread holder! I love that little doggie charm on the thread holder!


The other item in this picture is a rather cute piece. It's a pendant that is a scrabble tile with a picture on the front side. It's available with a variety of pics, but I chose the antique hooked rug design. I found this item on eBay, seller name crowdedcottagedesign



I've also been stitching some cross stitch pieces. The America one is done with the stitches... just needs finishing. The orange blobs one is still a work in progress that I hope to finish up this weekend. I'll give you designer and thread details when these are officially finished.

It's going to be 100 degrees here tomorrow with a heat index that's off the charts! Therefore, it is safe to assume that my hiney will be in a chair in front of the air conditioner stitching away! :-)

Happy Summer everyone!


Monday, June 11, 2012

Snow Days Block 14

Wheeeeeeeee! The 14th and final embroidered block of the Snow Days quilt has been completed!!! Full steam ahead... bound and determined... with a pot of coffee beside me... I sat down in my stitching chair at 11:58 am yesterday... and with only one potty break (yah... coffee does that! lol!) I pulled the last stitch at 3:58 pm. Another... wheeeeeeeeeeee! :-)


Now comes the fun part of piecing! And, learning to piece at the same time! lol! My history of quilting is short and sweet... First, I made a rag quilt. You can see that here.... and next was a 20" square mini quilt... and tried some minor hand quilting with that one. You can see that one here.

Now... my original intentions with this Snow Days BOM was to complete each month as they arrived... *grin*... but, because I signed on for 3 BOM's all at the same time... I fell a bit behind schedule... *blush*... But, the thing of it is, each month also included the material for the pieced parts. And, I tried the first month's pieced part here... but, they didn't turn out so good. Soooooooo, I asked the ladies at the Quilted Crow if they could ship me another Block 1 fabric bundle... and they did... it has been safely tucked away with the other fabrics... and, hopefully (throughout the past year) I have read enough tips and watched enough YouTube videos on piecing to finally get it right this time! lol!

In the last post I had promised some red, white & blue... and some strawberries... well... they ain't done yet! ;-) I'll be stitching some tonight and promise that the next update will contain some "seasonally appropriate stitches". :-)

Until next time... stay healthy & keep on smiling!

:-)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Snow Days Block 13

Whew! It's been a hectic two weeks... and I honestly don't know how June happened so quickly? ;-) In another 25 days, the year will be half over! But, don't let that little tidbit of information pressure anybody into enjoying the Summer that much MORE INTENSELY!!! lol! :-)

Actually, I'm about two weeks into recuperating from a mild Pneumonia. Yep. I did not have a fever. I just felt totally drained of energy, very tired (but could not sleep), and a general feeling of "something's just not right"... so, I went to the doctor's just expecting him to tell me I was imagining things... but, after a breathing test and chest x-ray... doc said my lungs had fluid in them and my lungs were functioning at a third of what they should be. Hmmmm.... ? Never had pneumonia before... so this was a huge surprise! So, the past two weeks have been slow and restful... just finished all the meds today and am breathing much better! :-)


Block 13 of Snow Days managed to get completed this past weekend! :-) This one was a biggie that measures about 9" x 15". Took quite a few (enjoyable) hours. Block 14 (which is the final embroidered block) is much smaller and should be a quick stitch! I'm looking to start the piecing in a week or two...

Beginning with the Memorial Day weekend, and continuing with the parades taking place on streets lined with Old Glory and Summertime now upon us... I've been having a craving for the red, white and blue... and strawberries...

Until next time... stay healthy & keep on smiling!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Hydrangeas and Snow Days Block 12

A very Happy Sunday to everyone! Here in Central Jersey we are having clear blue skies, brilliant sunshine and warm breezes! Second weekend in a row of absolute perfection!

I just came in from the garden. It's a small garden... as our property is kinda small. And, lucky for me, we have a few shade trees to keep the yard cool enough to be comfortable outside on a 90 degree day. Lately, I have been looking for some new, easy care shade flowers and shrubs. The growers come out with new stuff each year. During my commute to work, I had been noticing some hydrangeas in bloom that I just fell head over heals for! I wasn't lucky enough to find any at out local garden centers. So, I went to my favorite online source Cottage Farms Direct, to see if I could find it. I did. And, I found two other varieties too!

The first is "Endless Summer". This is the one that I "had to have". The coloring on them is spectacular!


The others I found are "Mariesii Varigata" Love the lacy pink flowers against the pale green and cream leaves!


And lastly, is "Pistachio". Odd, yet striking color on this one! I hope they all grow quick and fill with many flowers! Hydrangeas are becoming one of my favorite flowers... only second to Black Eyed Susans.


If only I had the sun and space for this bicolor butterfly bush...


One day...

In the meantime... I did relax with some stitches during the week. Finished up the embroidery part of Block 12 of the big Snow Days adventure! After supper today, I am hoping to trace off blocks 13 and 14.... so close... I can almost taste it! lol!


Time to finish up my big stitching projects in progress... big life changes going on here... changes that will be taking up most of my time and energy... and when these changes are accomplished...  :-)

Until next time... Stay Healthy & Keep on Smiling!


Sunday, May 13, 2012

More Radios at Kutztown!

Just in case some folks want to watch of quick video of some antique radios...


We had so much fun Friday and Saturday at this swap meet! Many smiling faces and numerous gorgeous radios! This is the first time Mr. Radiowild sold more than he bought! lol!

I enjoyed my usual stroll and gander through the antiques, farmer's market and flea market areas of Renninger's... nothing really sang to me to bring it home... just a few flowers.

Back to work tomorrow... hopefully I'll get a few minutes each evening to sit and stitch...

Until next time... stay healthy and keep on smiling! 

:-)


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Snow Days Block11 and Pewter

One good thing about rainy, wet days... is that the temptation to play in the yard after work gets rather... um... dampened... ;-) So, that creates about an hour (or a little more) of stitching time available each night. Early yesterday morning, I was able to finish up the next in the Snow Days series... Block 11. Whoo-hoo!

This was a little block... about 6" x 9"... so it finished up pretty quick. The little bunny is so cute with his tracks in the snow.... and the little birdie in the shrub nibbling on some winter berries... I'm getting used to making these french knots... which is something I could never do before.


The next block is about the same size... hopefully next weekend I'll be posting a finish on that one! It's getting so close to the time to piece these all together... 

For times when my eyes are tired by the end of the day... but, I still want something to keep my hands busy... there is crochet. This is a scarf I am working on.

I'm using "Pewter Shimmer" by Red Heart yarns... it's a great medium grey with some light blue sparkle in it. The top of the picture is how it looks on the skein...and the bottom part of the picture shows how the yarn looks using the basket weave stitch. I've made 2 scarves with this stitch before... but, I am liking it best with this yarn. It's very soft and light.

I've also been spending some time in the garden planting flowers. I did not plant as many as I usually do because over the past few years I've been planting perennials. Each year they return a bit bigger than the last and can be divided to fill in more areas. This makes for an very low maintenance garden which I am learning to enjoy! :-)

Until next time... stay healthy and keep on smiling!






Sunday, April 29, 2012

Snow Days Block 10

Happy Sunday!!! A day of rest, sunshine and stitches! I'd like to start this post with saying a big thank you to everyone for all of the interest in the "A Little Porch Time" BOM quilt kit! It is on it's way to TN to a very talented quilter's home! :-)

I spent a good amount of time this weekend stitching on Block 10 of the Snow Days quilt. The stitched area finished up at about 16" x 9"... and when I was tracing it, it didn't look all that difficult. Well... as it turned out it was not only time consuming, but also used up an entire skein of floss! I think that's the first block I've stitched that used that much floss... Ah well... it will even out with the next block... it's so tiny I think I can finish it in an evening after work this week. lol! Famous last words... ;-)


So that's about all the big news here... I did receive a new cross stitch pattern in the mail this week... I'll be starting that this evening...

Until next time... Stay healthy & keep on smiling! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Little Porch Time

Last year's theme was "Ambition" lol! I signed on for 4... yes... F*O*U*R Block of the Month Programs! I am currently ACTIVELY stitching on two of them... have the best of intentions to start one more of them before the autumn of THIS year (it's a wool quilt)... and I am looking to sell off the complete BOM (kit) of fabrics and pattern book to finish the quilt top titled "A Little Porch Time" by Lynda Hall.

AUCTION HAS ENDED AND ALL PICS REMOVED FROM POST

And, each section also has the fabric suggestion chart to offer some guidance as to what fabric to use where.

If anyone is interested, I have it listed on eBay now... click HERE to go to the auction.

Until next time... Stay Healthy & Keep on Smiling!



Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter and Block 9

I hope everyone is having a joyous Easter Sunday! We are having warm breezes, sunshine and blossoming trees galore here in Central Jersey! One of those pretty days you want to bottle up and save for when it's 110 degrees with 110% humidity! lol!

Our Easter Sunday has been quiet and enjoyable with hobbies and a ham dinner. One of the little pieces I finished was Block 9 of the Snow Days quilt! Five more blocks to go and then I will start the piecing... I still have some daylight left, so I might just trace of Block 10 and get a start on that this evening.

Until next time... stay healthy and keep on smiling!


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Stitches & Olde Threads

I've been happily enjoying the early Spring we are having here on the East Coast! The longer daylight hours and beautiful sunshine summon energies to get out into the yard and work in the soil and dream of the gardens that Summer will bring! So, not too much time has been spent sitting and stitching... but I did manage to finish a pinkeep and also purchase some wonderful pieces to add to my home's Spring decor.

First up is the cross stitch pinkeep I finished over the weekend. It's a Country Rustic Primitives design called "Tulips In Spring Pinkeep". I stitched it with the specified DMC threads on a 30ct. linen that was dyed "Antique Cotton". After backing with the same blue fabric it is resting on in this picture, I stuffed it with raw cotton and added a rusty bell with safety pin. It finished up a little larger than 9" x 5".

I also made a visit to the brand new selling website called Primitive Handmades Mercantile. While browsing through the many beautiful offerings of the included artists, I stumbled upon some "must haves" that were created by Susan Hoover of Olde Threads. Not only are the pieces themselves meticulously stitched and assembled... but Susan also put a lot of care into the packaging of these treasures! Each piece was individually wrapped in cellophane with a little spring grass... and she also included a few Spring hang tags... so pretty!

This was my first purchase from Primitive Handmades Mercantile... and I can honestly say that I was so pleased with my experience, that I'll be looking forward to each and every update they have! I believe the next update will be the 15th or 16th of this month.... but, you can check now to see what's still available from last months update. And, please... on the main page of their website... read about the giveaway they are having. There are letters scattered about the artists pages and if you can unscramble them correctly you will be entered to win some handmade prizes. I have been trying to solve this puzzle since the first day... and I just can't seem to get it! Maybe you will?

Many thanks to everyone that cheered on with confidence that I was going to actually be climbing that tower! I even had a buddy offer to climb it with me! :-) But, as much as I wanted to try... rules and regulations keeps anyone but trained and authorized personnel from climbing that tower. Ah well... ;-)

Down here on the ground... I'm almost finished with the embroidery of Block #9 of the Snow Days quilt! I'll post a picture in my next post... looking forward to a relaxing 3 day Easter weekend coming up!

Until next time... stay healthy & keep on smiling!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Enjoying NJ

Did I really say that? Those of you who know me, know that I have been trying to move out of this state for some time now! lol! But, recently I have been enjoying some of the history of NJ... some of it is very interesting and I can honestly say that I never knew so many important things happened so close to where I have been living for the past 40-something years!

Yesterday, Bob and I ventured out to Alpine, NJ to get (what he has been referring to as) "Rock Star access" to one of the most history rich broadcast towers in the state of NJ. One of the most recent historical events was that this tower was used to broadcast major TV and radio stations following the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Did you know that the WTC buildings had broadcast towers on the very top of them? If you would like to read a detailed (yet short) article on the history of the tower, click here. And, if your curious about seeing how our visit went... give this short video a look-see...


I'll have to admit that (originally) I only went along for the ride just to see something different... but, after I learned the history and actually stood at the base of this 400 ft. tall tower and looked up at it... it truly has a magnificent and powerful presence!

I've been stitching some too! I started a Chessie and Me kit that is called "Pumpkin Row". The fob part of the kit is what is pictured (with the crow and pumpkin). This piece takes some time as it uses what's called the Smyrna stitch in some of it. The other piece is a Country Rustic Primitives pattern for Spring. Nearly finished with the stitching on that one, so will be finishing it up into a pinkeep before the sun sets today...

Did someone say shopping? Yah... I did some of that too! I've been a long time admirer of Karen Kahle's style of hooking... the soft colors of wool used and the floral-gardening-home-nature of the subjects in her pieces are so beautiful and peaceful! Sooooooo, I visited her Etsy store and found me some marbelized wool, a hooked pillow kit and a couple of needlepunch patterns! :-) It was all packaged nicely with some hooking and needlepunch tips too! So, I hope to be getting lost in some wool and hooking soon!


Until next time... Stay healthy & keep on smiling!



Sunday, March 11, 2012

Snow Days Block 8


As promised... a picture of the Snow Days Block 8. I've already traced out Block 9 and should be finished by the weekend as it is a small block. I think that passing the halfway point has given me some added energy to get moving along a little quicker on this project. I'm also anxious to start some piecing... the fabrics are soft blues and browns... peaceful!

The other exciting thing for today is the whole springing ahead an hour with the clocks... yes, this caused me to miss my nap today, lol... but, there will now be some daylight to enjoy when I get home from work during the week. This brings more energy... which, in turn, should give some enthusiasm to burn some calories and banish some of this winter fluff I've accumulated over the past few months. Can't let my belly get in the way of my golf game, ya' know!?!?!? :-)

I've also started another small cross stitch... it's a Chessie & Me kit that I've had on my desk for about a year and a half now... it has pumpkins and crows in it... and if you have ever stitched a Chessie & Me pattern... you know that I'm also learning some new stitches! :-)

It's all fun... and it's all good!

Until next time... stay healthy & keep on smiling!

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