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Sunday, September 25, 2016

I'm being brave

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.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

According to my app the Moon is full TODAY!!

I guess that means I need to be updating my blog.  Most of you all know how to apply the button so people can go over to Mesai's blog, but I'm not as well versed in how all those things work, so this time I'm adding her link and invite you to and go on over to her blog.

So the question this month is:

The Stitcher Blogging Question this month is two-fold… if you’re not participating  then there’s a mid-year recap question.  Let us know how you’re doing.  If you do want to participate in the Olympic Stitch-a-Long challenge, we’ll be running three mini “competitions,” and it’s up to you to decide how you want to approach it.  Hopefully one of these options appeals to you!

Since I'm not really participating in the Olympian challenge (just haven't gotten into the Olympics this year), I will do a recap.

Here is what I had hoped to accomplish this year:

So here is my wish list for 2016 and I'm hoping this blog will keep me on track:

Canvases/Counted Needlepoint
Emerald City - STARTED see picture below
Dorothy - Not yet
Glenda - Not Yet
Wicked Witch of the East - Not Yes
Flying Monkey - Not Yet
Ruby Slippers -READY to Start - found some sequins for the shoes :)
The Wiz - NOT from Wizard of OZ - no update this one is close to a finish.
Counted Cross Stitch
August Fairy-Peridot (just needs the beads) - Still waiting - I've done some beading, but no picture
EarthDancer - Not touched
Mermaid Letter D (just needs the beads) DONE see picture below
Mermaid Letter A - I've worked on her, but not much this year, no picture
In Memory of Jane (aka Multiplication table)  DONE see picture a few posts back - delivered to daughter #3 for her class room.
Inspire Other (over one design) Haven't touched - not even sure where it is right now, need to find it.
Either Peter's Patch or Angel's song  Angel's Song has been worked on (see picture below) - Peter's Patch no - another one with some attention could be done by now.
Quilts - NO Progress at all on either - I need room to do the quilts and just don't have it right now.
Thimbleberry 2009 quilt (just needs to be assembled)
Dr. Seuss Take 5 quilt ( just needs borders)

Not on my original list be working on:
Purse flap for youngest daughter - see picture below
Purse flap for middle daughter - no picture, no progress for awhile
Counted Canvas - Starry Night for myself :) see picture blow.

Here is my progress since last month:

Here is my Letter D Mermaid - she is all beaded and missed stitches stitched.  I had a problem with finding more of the crystals, so ended up with ones a little bit darker, but I think they look OK.  Will take it to the framers  and then will send it off to my Granddaughter for her bedroom.

Next up is my Emerald City - I have most of the brick road done.  I started on the dark green too.  I'm having fun with this one and hope to get back to it soon.

I did work a little bit on my SB - Angel's Song.  I got in another two rows.  I will keep this one close at hand to work on again.  It is a nice break and the rows generally go quickly so I feel like I'm accomplishing a lot more than I really am.  I'm now on row 13 and I think there are 25?  I'm in no hurry to get this one done.  Once it's done I have SB's The Promise ready to go.  That is one that I've been wanting to do for a long time.

The next up is my Starry Night.  this was not one of my original 16 projects.  I saw it and decided I liked the colors, so after much debating with myself decided to get the chart, threads and canvas all at one time.  I think that has motivated me to start it at least.  I do worry whether or not I'll have enough threads.  I don't think her charts are realistic when they tell you how many skeins to get.  Or maybe the way I stitch just uses more than I should, but I like the coverage I get.

The last one is one of my purse flaps - I've got most of it stitched.  You really can't tell too well from the picture so I added a picture of the back.  The whirls will be beaded :)  that will add some dimension to the flap without a lot of extra work.

What I'm not showing you are the 3 SB stockings I've just kitted up.  My husband's nephew is expecting their first child in October, so I will send the stocking to them as baby shower gift.  I've also been debating on doing a rag quilt, so need to see how much flannel I have socked away.  If I have enough then I will do it (they are living out east and I'm sure will have cold weather this winter - or so the wooly worms are saying).  If I don't, then well - ROAD TRIP!!

But I know you are saying "wait she said she kitted up 3, who are the other 2 for?".  Hubby's niece has two children now, a little girl born last spring and a son a few years ago.  I did a rag quilt for her son when he was born, I've not done anything for her daughter.  So thought I might try to do the stockings for both of them, can't do just one.  Not going to stress myself out over getting them done, if I do, great, if not, then maybe next year.

 Next full moon may not have much of an update.  It all depends on how this weekend goes, it will be my last weekend as a summer widow, hubby comes home next week.  While I love my hubby dearly (we've been married over 32 years and together close to 40), I really enjoy having a few weeks of alone time each summer.  His idea of fun and my idea of fun aren't always in sync.  So he goes and spends time with his family and I get to spend time with myself.  Oh to have 100% control of the remote can be heaven at times!!  NO WESTERNS for the past 4 weeks!!  What more could a girl want?

OK, by the end of his time away I am ready for him to come home and he is ready to come home.  I think we appreciate each other more when there is a little absents to let the heart grow fonder.

Until the next full moon - hope you are able to do all the stitching your heart desires because I look forward to your progress to get my mojo going!!


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Expanding my creative juices

I had a great time on vacation.  I drove from CA to KY to deliver my car to my daughter (she bought it from me).  And then spent a week with my girls (and one day with my son and his kids).  I took some stitching, but in all reality I didn't get a lot done, was having too much fun with the kids.  Took work too, but the gods were in my corner and provided us with lots of rain that interfered with our internet at home, soooooo wasn't able to get on-line.

This trip at my middle daughter's suggestion, we expanded our granddaughter's creative talents by going to Uptown Arts in Louisville, KY along with our own.  If you get an opportunity to go to one of the many different type classes I would recommend trying it out.  We had fun, the class was small, just 6 people in all and we painted cupcakes :)

The first one is mine, the second one is my youngest daughters.  Donna put her initials on hers (DM) and the last one is my middle daughter's.

You can see that while we all heard the same directions, we all had our own way of putting it together.  The teacher was really great and encouraged us to "color outside the lines" :)

I guess I should get back to stitching, it will be a while before I'll be venturing out with my girls again.

I hope you are all able to expand your creative juices and try something out of your "wheel house".  Whether it's ceramics, painting, or branching out into another form of stitching.  It is always fun to see what you can do when you put your mind to it.

Now it's back to reality and work tomorrow.  Need to find my traveling project and get it back into my bag I take to work every day.