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Monday, October 17, 2016

Stitching in Sunny Cal under the full moon

Well it wasn't actually today, it was a few days ago, but still was a pretty moon, a Hunter's Moon.

I can remember as a kid going outside with my siblings to see who could spot the moon first.  Can't remember if I ever won that game, but do remember playing other games that could only be played after dark like ghost-ghost come out tonight :)  and of course the game of hiding from headlights, can't remember what we called that game.  However when you don't live on a busy street that game could get boring pretty quickly LOL.  As much as I know I wouldn't want to be a kid again, I sure do miss playing with siblings and friends.  I mean who wouldn't love playing tag football with cute guys in the neighborhood????  Or crack the whip on ice skates at our neighborhood rink.

Well I digress with the full on to the question for this full month at Mesi - Wipocalypse.

What on-line stitching communities do you enjoy.  I guess the only on-line groups that I belong to are on Face Book.  I'm a member of our Southern Cal Stitching group, Mira-Mira (more lurking than participating), Sampler Group (definitely a lurker) and Needlepoint Nation (again lurking but have posted a couple of time).  I love seeing what others are doing and I'm always amazed at all of the different designs out there.

Both of the yahoo groups I belonged to are now de-funked, which is too bad because there were some talented stitchers in both groups.  

I love reading blogs, so I probably spend more time going and seeing what everyone else is up to than participating on a community group.  I've not done actual groups in a long time, got tired of the drama that always seems to creep into the discussion.  While I know the moderators try hard, you can't aways control people speaking before thinking.

So what have I been up to since the last full moon?  Well I went to a retreat and started a new project.  Here are my latest updates.  Having three days of stitching was wonderful, and so relaxing.  We are going back next year, can't wait.  Need to put it on my count down calendar.

First up is my new start, it's called Four Angel Mourning by Scarlett Letter.  I love this one, the colors are warm.  It will take me awhile to get it done because there is a little more over one than I thought.  It will be worth it all when it's done :)  The whole outer border is the sawtooth design.  I started it with two threads.  Still deciding if I like it or not.  I think so, but not sure if it will look too heavy for the rest of the design.

Next up is my SB stocking, which seems to be cursed.  I'm doing more un-stitching than stitching lately.  I put in a small section of the shepherd chart so you see the thick symbols.  Well from these old worn out eyes they looked the same :(  but they weren't and I stitch it wrong.  The picture to the right shows it being corrected (at the very top by the qsnap), but I think the red heart is the wrong color :(  but not going to change it at this point.   The picture to the left shows it wrong - I'm glad I changed it.  Makes it stand out more.

The coat is also the wrong color, it should be a purplish color, but again, don't think I'lm going to re-do it.  The kid will be graduating from college if I go back and correct all  my mistakes.  As I said, this stocking seems to be cursed.  But I will get this, just may take me a while.  I love the stocking and I suppose if I was paying more attention to the chart, I wouldn't be making the errors.  But come-on all of the symbols you can use and you use a thick square and a thick circle next to each other?????  I have two more stocking kitted up and ready to go, I love these and generally don't have any problems with them at all.

I've been working on the bookmarked my granddaughter started when she was out here this summer.  I would hold it for her to finish, but given we don't get to spend a lot of time together since we moved to CA, she lives in TN, I thought I should just go ahead and finish it up.  This is my "don't want to think too hard" canvas.  The yellow is done, so will start on the green going around it.  Since my granddaughter started it, I'm doing it the same way.  Normally I go from corner to corner, but she chose to go across, so that is what I'll do.  I can't wait to try my creative side with finishing it for Christmas :)  It will sit on the outside of the book with elastic banding going between the pages.  Found some gold at the fabric store, so will see how it looks.

The last is my Nora Corbett, Letter A Mermaid.  While this looks like it should almost be done, it's probably not even 1/2 done yet!!  I really need to work more on this one than I have been.  This will be one of my focuses for 2017!!

I've been working on my purse flaps, but don't have any recent pictures.  I work on them at work each day for about 1/2 hour while watching Netflix.  It's my way to decompress at work before facing the afternoon.  I need to keep a calm demeanor while dealing with people, which is probably better than slapping them upside the head when I repeat myself for the umpteenth time.

Hope the moons trip around you (see you are the center of the universe) went well and you had some great stitching time!!


Monday, October 10, 2016

I see the full moon starting to peak at me :)

When the moon is going from the new moon to a full moon it's called waxing.  Don't know much about astrology, never took it in school, but know that I love some of the terms, waxing and waning, who thinks up this stuff?  I loved the stories about the stars when I was at girl scout camp, just wish I would have had the insight to write them down so I could tell them to another generation.

Anyway, decided I should post something to let you all know I was still alive and well and had a blast at our Southern Cal retreat.  I really didn't mine the rooms being very plain (no TV's in the room and the wifi sucked to put it bluntly), but would have loved a mattress that wasn't so lumpy.  The Craft room was great, the lighting was good and there was lots of space so we could all spread out and not worry about encroaching on anyone else's space.  I was going to take pictures, but just never got around to it, so can't show you the accommodations or the room.  We are reserving for next year the same weekend, but I think I'll take some of my quilting to cut - they had great tables too.  The quilters were across the way in a room equally a large, so we popped over there for a lookie-see and they did the same.

Do know that I got my steps in, despite sitting on my posterior most of the day.  The sleeping rooms and the craft room were in different buildings, which included going up and down stairs.  And then where we ate was in yet another building, which was a ways away.  By the end of the day I think I was closer to 2 miles!!

I worked a little bit on several projects.  I think there were only 3 projects that I took that didn't see the light of day.  One of them I really hadn't intended to stitch, it just happened to be in the same bag as another project.  So I thought I did pretty good not over packing things to do :)

Didn't take pictures of everything, but here are a few.

I started a new project - I think it's called something like 4 Corner Angels, which is just want it says, an angel in each corner.  I'm doing it on 40 ct. and didn't realize there are a few over one, like the heart.  The angel's wings are over two, but the face and hair are over one.  I have more done, but want to save something for the full moon :)

I managed to get another band done on my Angel's Song.  I really should have gone ahead and done the next band too, but decided to move on to my next project.  I really love this one.

And next is my Nora Corbett Letter A Mermaid.  I added some more waves.  I need to get this one done soon as I have my D Mermaid ready to be framed.  But there are so many darn waves!!

And last is my SB stocking.  I didn't have the right color to do the band under the shepherd's feet.  I did pick that up at a local shop this past weekend.  I couldn't find the thread it called for, but got something that will work just was well.

 I have to pull out the rest of the projects I worked on and take pictures.

I really enjoyed the long weekend with big chucks of stitching time.  Hope to get the momentum going again soon.  I want to get the stocking done for sure and also a couple of other projects.

Will post my purses flaps with the full moon.  I'm almost done with one of them, well almost done with the stitching part, then need to find my thread and put the beads on - it is going to look so cool, can't wait.  The other one is getting there, but don't seem to be making the progress as fast, or it doesn't seem as fast.

Hope you are all having great time stitching and getting things done.


Sunday, September 25, 2016

I'm being brave

QUICK UPDATE - I'm getting some ukuleles for my daughter's 2nd grade class!!  Also talking to one of the teachers at the festival to see if they would do a special video for the kids to teach them some basic chords.  So excited, I know there is a budding musician out there who is just waiting for someone to light that candle in their soul.

Well a little bit, still working on a lot, but getting there

My brother called a few months back and asked if I wanted to go to the Ukulele Festival.

I thought, OK, you've been saying you need to get out into the world and try new things and do things you normally wouldn't do.  Its time to make changes to my life and to start living again!!

So I said YES!!!!  I must admit I had my doubts about the weekend.

My sister came too, both she and my brother are fantastic guitar player, my brother expanded to the Ukulele a while back.  I played one when I was about 10 or 11, never got very far, but had fun at the time.  So what the heck right?

My brother got me my own ukulele to play and my sister got me a book of cords.

And so we were off for a day of fun in the sun.  You know what, I had the best time!!  The day just flew by, and before I knew it, we were on our way home.  While I'm not the best player in the world, I did master 3 chords!!  Learned how to strum correctly and you know what????  They played music from the 50's, 60's, 80's....even just a touch of Blue Grass, but no traditional Hawaiian music.  The day was filled with classes and then performances, then more classes, then more performances.    Loved, loved, loved it all!!  Came close to buying a second ukulele, but came to my common sense and decided I need to learn to play the one I had before I branched out to a second one.

I'm so happy my brother suggested this weekend, it was so nice to have 2 of my siblings for the weekend all to myself.  Call me selfish, but I so miss spending time with family, I love them all, even the family members i don't like :)  I miss spending time with my family, and letting myself be me.  I think I need to learn to play "the times are a changing", think Bob Dylan can be converted to ukulele?  

Next weekend is all stitching, can't wait.  Will have some updates then too.  Sure home my finger tips are sore anymore LOL.

I want a year of new experiences, while that doesn't mean I'm not going to do the things I love, like stitching, sewing or knitting.  It does mean I'm going to experience different things, take more classes, buy that challenging x-stitch that I've always wanted or maybe do something totally off the grid.  I'm going to re-discover me and that may mean learning not to feel guilty about ONLY working a 40 hr. week.  Learning not to feel guilty because I spent money on myself instead of my kids or hubby.  Learning life is waiting for me instead of me waiting for life to happen.  Yep, 4 little strings have helped to make me see things a little bit differently this weekend.

Hope you all had a great weekend.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Who let the Frogs out...rippit...rippit

who let the frogs out.....rippit....rippit

I thought was I just flying and come to find out I stitch the wrong color in his cape.  See the red area?  Well it shouldn't be red :(  it needed to be gray.  So no problem right, just re-stitch that red into the flower motif right?  

Well almost right.  I stitched the wrong red in the area and had guessed it, rippit out again and re-stitch it once again.

So you would think that the story of the frogs in my pond would end there, right????  well NO the green in the body of the shepherd is WRONG too :( it was supposed to be Wisconsin Woods instead of the Weeping Willow, which is why I only had 1 skein instead of 2.  So now the dilemma is, do I take it all out?  or leave it??????

Since this pictures I've added the his legs and shoes while I think about it.

I normally love the little frogs we have around our home in KY, but right now I really want these frogs to go and find another pond to play in.  I need to get this done and not re-do it 1,000 times.  I also had to take out the white under the hat because I'm miss counted.  Do you think this project is cursed?  Is this an omen that it shouldn't be completed????

So do I take out the Weeping Willow (and I will be weeping as I do it) and replace it?  The Wisconsin Woods is more of a grayish purple, which would probably look better.  Or leave it and call it good.

May the frogs lose their way to your home


Thursday, September 15, 2016

A day early with posting for the Full Moon, the moon is still waxing....

I totally blew last month's question for the full moon.  It was about reading books that involve stitching.  I have read a lot of different books, all mysteries that revolve around some kind of craft/artistic work.  My favorite has to be the Benny Harper Mysteries, was sorry to see those end.   All the books were named after quilt squares.  Also love the one that takes place in Ft. Collins CO with Kelly (??) who is not only a knitter, but an accountant (so like me).  I've been there and seen the shop that is always features and even eaten in the little cafe that is connected to the shop.  And of course what needlepoint mysteries wouldn't be complete without Monica Ferris' book, actually met her in person, she is a hoot.  OK, now on to this month's question.

Full moon topic for September 2016 – Tell us a story about the journey you took through one of your completed pieces.

When I first read this topic I thought, boy I don’t stitch when I’m sad, so I don’t have any story to tell.  But then I thought – wait a minute, you do stitch.   While it is kind of one story, there was more than one piece involved.

Where I started
As most of you know who follow my blog we lost our daughter to cancer two years ago come January, and then my sister lost her battle with cancer a year ago last August.   Words can’t describe how much my heart broke during my daughter’s battle with cancer, she lived less than a year from diagnosis.  My sister’s battle was 5 years, with lots of ups and downs.

Where I left off
When my daughter was diagnosed I pulled out the angel that I started for her years ago.  I made progress on it, but try as I might I just couldn’t stitch on it for very long.  It just made me way too sad.  I will finish it because I think it will be beautiful when it's finished.  Love the purples I picked out, hate the rayon thread, which as you many have guessed is the white, so it will be a long process.  

So instead I stitch a Lizzy Kate design call “At our House, we do Love”.  I chose this one because my daughter decided to move in with her sisters with her daughter.  So we had 3 adult children, who had all been living on their own in one house with a 7 year old child.  There were tense moments, but when it counted the most there were there for each other .  Believe me in our family we really do LOUD REALLY well LOL, and patience not always so good.  However at the end of the day we continue to do family and Love, so I guess that is what counts.

After my daughter passed away and my sister had found out that the cancer had returned with no options to fight it I once again turned to a Lizzy Kate – Let them be Small.  It gave me solace to stitch and gave me words to live by – tomorrow isn’t promised so I need to remember to appreciate today, regardless what it brings.   So I don't pass up opportunities to spend time with family or friends anymore.

Both of the Lizzy Kate’s are done and hanging up, one at our home in KY with my 2 daughters and the other in my office at work where I can see it every day.

As my sister entered what we knew would be the start of the end I turned to stitching once again.  This time it was a SamSarah Design that I saw in one of my stitching magazines and knew I needed to do the project and get it done as quick as possible and to my sister.   It is called The Flock and was printed in 12 charts.   While I was not happy with the number of charts, the saying reminded me of her fight with cancer and helped me through a lot of nights while I stitched and cried.   As I stitched the words I found some strength, I know that sounds sappy, but I knew this was the perfect project for me to work.  My sister loved it and I told my niece that when her Dad was ready to let it go, it was hers, so she could remember how strong her Mom was during the bleakest times.   Picture doesn't do the frame justice, it looks so great.

 So you’d think this would be the end of my stitching story – but it’s not J  in my grieving I’ve been looking for things to stitch that will have meaning.  So I’ve spent a ton of money buying Wizard of Oz needlepoint ornaments to do for my sisters and brother and parents. My sister was a huge Oz fan, so this should be a fitting present.  I found a mourner’s sampler to do for myself for my daughter.  

I will be grieving for awhile yet, I've moved on with my life, but not ready to move on from my grief.  I’m OK with that for now and will give myself the time I need to heal.  My stitching will continue to be a big part of the healing process.  It seems to bring balance back into my lift.

Now, what have I been doing since the last full moon?  

Well I started a SB stocking for hubby's nephew's pending wee one.  I'm having fun with this one, the cape is kind of boring, but once it is done, then I will be on to smaller motifs that I can do and feel like I've accomplished something.

I've also been working on my middle daughter's purse flap.  I think it's going to look great when it's done.  I love working with the red silk lame, it stitches up so nice.  Wish I would have gotten it in black too.  A little more expensive, but worth it because it makes stitching so enjoyable.   

I have one other project I've been working on, but haven't taken any pictures, so maybe next time I'll have it completed!!  

I will have a new start the next time :)  and hopefully at least one finish (the SB stocking).  

I hope you all had a great month of productive stitching. Cant wait to see what you've finished, you all inspire me so.  I stitching mojo wanes and waxes with the moon.


Thursday, September 8, 2016

So when did I become so afraid?

The last time I spend quality time with my daughter before she passed away, she wanted me to unhook all the wires they had on her in the hospital and take her to the bathroom.  I wanted to call the nurse for assistance and she looked at me and said "when did you get so scared?"  I had no answer, so I unhooked her and I took her to the bathroom and then re-hooked her up.

Hadn't thought much more about her comment until the other day when I was looking at my granddaughter's painting.   We sat in the same class and our pictures are so totally different.  I was so timid, notice my cupcakes are all at about the same level and pretty lined up.

My cream frosting is all exactly 4 layers, stacked as neatly as I could get it.......  My granddaughter had a lot more fun with her painting.  She experienced with color and mixing them up.  Her cupcakes probably look more realistic than mine (or at least if you are novice baker)  And her cherries sit like they were actually plopped on top of the frosting vs. mine.   And her lines are how she wanted them and if the cupcake didn't quite fit neatly in the area, oh well.

So when did I become so afraid to color outside of the lines???  At what point did I think I needed to follow the directions to the letter ALL the time????   Did it happen when I wasn't looking?  Or were these decisions I made?

I used to look at the directions and then do my own thing, change things up a little bit.  I didn't hesitate when I sewed the kids clothes, if they wanted a bubble dress, they had it, if they wanted a formal dress, it was a done deal.  I wanted lace dollies, so I just get a smaller crochet hook and thread and made up my pattern as I went along.  So what happen, when did I get so scared? Is that a sign of getting old?

I have so many canvases, material for quilts and yarn for sweaters that I don't do because I'm so afraid I'm going to make a mistake.  Maybe that is why I like counted cross stitching so much - its like painting by numbers - you know exactly where to put your x and in what color and all the x's look exactly the same.  You have a set of directions that are easy to follow.

So I need to get out of my comfort zone, to get adventurous again and realize that making a mistake is not the end of the world.  I need to make my fluffy stuff lopsided once in a while and add sprinkles to my life.

I need to stop being so afraid and just do it.  Will my quilts get make anytime soon?  Probably not, but I think I'll be pulling out some needlepoints that I've been waiting to do, but been afraid to start.

So here is to getting out of your comfort zone......


Monday, September 5, 2016

What magazines do you read?

When I first started stitching I remember finding a magazine that had so many different projects.  I couldn't wait to get it home from the store and start stitching.  While I would have loved to subscribe to all of the magazines that were out at the time, money was limited so I had to selective about which one(s) I would subscribe too.  To select, I would look for magazines that had lots of projects.  I like the charts that were in black and white vs. the ones that were in color.

I loved to see the different charts and I'm sure I did many of them for quick gifts to people.  Didn't always use the colors called for, after all floss cost money too.  I remember doing a teddy bear in purples because I didn't have the browns, and an elephant in pinks and grays.   I wish I had pictures of all those projects, but back then film cost money not to  mention getting it developed!!  So no early pictures of anything that was gifted, which was most of what I did.

This was one of those early projects that I did for my hubby, I think it was a kit and not from a magazine, which is why I had all the colors.  I took a picture of it the last time I was home, the kids put it back up on the walls.  The next time I go back to my folks house I will take pictures of some of my other early projects.

As I grew up with my kids, I had more funds for buying stash and it expanded and is still expanding.  However, I found that the magazines that enticed me before no longer held the same interest.  I really didn't want or need more projects.  Also didn't like the charts in color, found them too hard when they would put similar colors next to each other.  What I wanted was to read about stitching, not add more possible projects to my to do list.   So as those subscriptions expired, I didn't renew.  Some of them went out of business, which was a shame but solve the dilemma about renewing or not.  At the top, I probably had 5 or 6 different subscription.

Currently I subscribe to 3 different magazines.

1) Needlepoint Now - which is the newest subscription for me.  Love to look at the needlepoint canvases and read about using different stitching.  And I must admit I love to look at all the canvases that are available for sale.  I also enjoy the articles, using common stitches in uncommon ways and the Judges Corner.  Best of all I enjoy Conni's Down the Rabbit Hole.  Sometimes she loses me in her article, but she manages to bring it all home at the end.  So I find it entertaining and at times I can relate to what she is saying.  I started to get this one when I let my ANG membership lapse.

2) Cross Stitch & Needlework -  I originally got the magazine because I loved Fran's article each issue.  Like in NN - she would talk about her many projects, stitching, knitting and I think there were even some about quilting.  Boy, could I relate, and of course her pets, having cats and dogs at the time too, really loved reading her stories.  I was sad when she retired, and to be honest, really don't find the current replacement all that interesting.  So when this subscription expired, I won't renew.

3) Pieceworks - which has a lot of historical articles about knitting, lacework and needlework is probably my favorite.  Each issue includes projects that you can do, but the articles are the main draw for me.   The projects are a by-product of the article, vs. a small article about the project.

I love reading about the history of needlework, I find it so interesting, my favorite has been the history of lacework.  This is one area I've not ventured into other than crocheting lace a long time ago.  I'm sure I will continue to renew this as my subscription comes up each time.

So what do you read and why?

I have been doing some stitching this month.  The teddy bear I did in a weekend.  He was fun and quick to stitch.  I still need to add some beads and then will finish him into an ornament for a Christmas present.

I have been working on middle daughter's purse flap.  I'm changing the tans to reds.  I need to get more done, as this is another Christmas present.  So I've been working on this one at lunch at work.  I posted the purse flap for my youngest daughter last time.  It is close to being done.

The last project this month is a new start - SB's stocking Thomas.  This will be for our nephew's first child.  The baby is due in October, so I need to get a move on if I hope to have it done.

I'm going to a stitching retreat at the end of the month :)  So I've started planning what projects to take.  We will stitch Friday night, all day Saturday and then for a while on Sunday.  My mind tells me I should only pick 2 or 3 things to take, but my heart wants to take 5 or 6 different projects.  I doubt if I'll have any big finished this month, but should have lots of progress :)  It's a shame when you stress more about the stitching projects to take with you, than what to pack to wear LOL  But I don't think this is unusual for a stitcher, or at least not in my group of stitchers.

Hope you are all enjoying some cooler weather and getting any special projects done.  I normally don't do projects for Christmas, don't like the stress of having to have anything done, but this year I seems to have committed myself to several.  Oh dear...less the stress commence.