Friday, January 27, 2023

January Baby Crafts

Grey January days mean lots of crafting and we sure have had our share of them this month. Hubby and I were taking a walk around our neighborhood and bemoaning the fact that there has been very little sun all month. We don't mind the cold daily walks normally, but the grey, cloudy skies and cool breeze/wind with no sun shining on your face does not really make these walks pleasant. Those grey skies have meant on and off rain this month also. No snow. I happen to like a few snowy days. Even if there are grey skies afterward at least it is bright outside. So far January has been quite depressing weather wise. 

I have managed to make a lot of progress on my crafts. 59 out of 198 rows of crochet are completed on the baby blanket for my future grandson. Only a peek remember.

I have been trying to crochet 3 rows per day. Some days I manage a few more.

I have also started a new yarn project for another baby that is being born this Spring. This blanket will be knitted.

I have already had to rip out a few rows, but I think I have the pattern down now. It is a 4 row repeat with two of the rows just knit. I can work on it while watching TV which is a plus, because I can't do that with most of the other WIPs.

The birth announcement is stitching up quickly. I have finished the motifs across the bottom and are working on the flowers up the sides. Isn't that little bear adorable. It is hard to see my progress on the flowers as the floss is off-white on a white background so I left the needle in to show you where to look.

I can only stitch these flowers under bright overhead lighting, so I usually work on this in the morning or on the rare sunny days. 

This wonderful craft kit came in the mail a few days ago.

Natalie's parents chose it for her and I ordered it from Herrschners while their after Christmas sale was still going on. This will be added to the crafting rotation once one of the others above are completed.

I had to add a few items to the order to get free shipping, so I also ordered a the extra brown floss I need for the border of the birth announcement, a pair of new embroidery scissors....because you can never have too many.... and a clearance cross-stitch book. It was only $3.99. Quite a bargain for a hardcover book.

I will be joining Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching. Pop on over to her site to see what other bloggers are up to. I certainly have plenty to keep me busy.

Thanks for stopping by!




Sunday, January 22, 2023

Stitch Along

I have made a whole lot of progress on the birth announcement. This is what I am working on. I was getting ready to start it 3 weeks ago.


 This is where I am now. 

There has been a whole lot of frogging on this piece. The border has been easy to stitch. Though I got bored stitching brown and decided to start the interior. The green on the bottom was almost fully stitched....two different colors....when I realized that something was wrong. There was minimal difference in the two colors and you should have been able to see a dark and a bright. It turns out that I must have put a few stray strands of a different floss on the DMC 699 bobbin and it was almost the same color as the lighter green. I think those stray strands may have been leftovers from a kit. I took out all of the green stitches, threw away the mismatched color and started over. The rest of the floss on the 699 bobbin was a nice rich dark green and definitely the correct color. 

This piece is stitching up quickly which makes me very happy. I am also still working on the Woodland Animals stocking as I just don't want to put it aside. 

Thank you to Avis at Sewing Beside the Sea for hosting Stitch Along every three weeks and sending us the needed posting reminders. 

Grab yourself a cup of coffee or tea and take some time to visit the other bloggers below who are part of this stitch-along. There is a wide variety of stitching projects. These talented stitchers are from all over the world, so please allow for the time differences and check back for each post. Helen is under the weather this week so she won't be posting an update, but I included her in the list if you wish to visit her site and see what she has been up to. I hope she feels better soon.

AvisClaireGun, ChristinaKathyMargaret

HeidiJackieSunnyMeganDeborahSharon

DaisyAJCathieLindaHelenConnie, MaryMargaretCindy

Thanks for stopping by! 

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Making a mess

There needs to be a mess, before there is organization. At least that is what I am telling myself. Here is the mess. 

This is just some of what I took out of the top shelf of my large craft cabinet. I am trying to better organize my crafts.....most specifically my fabric. One, I want to know what I have in fabric and kits. Two, I want to be able to easily access my fabrics which hasn't been possible when they are in tall stacks on one shelf.

First I took all of my felt and stored it in a large plastic container that I recently emptied of cradle linens that were no longer needed.

This doesn't look like a lot from here, but I have a very large piece of red felt. I bought a bunch years ago to when I made a floor length table cloth for my mother for her table top Christmas tree. There is also a large piece of black felt. I don't remember why I bought it. The rest is mostly small 9"x11" pieces. It fills the container though. 

Next I sorted the fabrics I have from long ago clothing and curtain projects. 

I used to make skorts, jumpers and dresses for my daughter when she was little.
The photo below is from 1996. You can see that I still have some of that fabric above. I saved the jumper also. Maybe Natalie will wear it sometime.

Next I sorted the kits and patterns.

I have way more than I realized. Once I finish the stocking and birth announcement, I want to start on that Santa kit. My son bought it for me a few years ago.

Can you see the Latch Hook Kit in the background. It's Tweety!

This was one of my daughter's crafts. It is about 2/3 finished. I asked her if she wants to finish it and she said no, so I think I will add it into my rotation and make it into a cute pillow or wall hanging to have around for the grandchildren. It is a mindless craft and I hate to see it unfinished. 

Next I resumed organizing my fabric. The reason I cleared out the top shelf is to that I could have two shelves of fabric organized vertically.

I haven't yet finished putting all of my fabric on comic book boards, but I am well on my way. I have more fabric than I thought. I have another pile sitting waiting to be carded.  You can see on the top shelf that I am going to store some of the kits and patterns behind the fabric stash. The shelves are deep enough for it. I think I will make lists of the patterns and kits that are stored and their location so that I can remember what I have and easily find it. I can post those lists inside the cabinet doors near the corresponding shelf.

This is a tall cabinet with 4 storage shelves. The bottom is full of stacking boxes of craft supplies like buttons, gift ribbon and more. The second from the bottom shelf has all of my batting and cross-stitch fabric.


I couldn't photograph the entire cabinet as there is a sectional right in front of it. There is only a doors worth of space between the cabinet and the sectional. You can see that the batting and fiberfill is stored willy nilly. I am hoping to clear this shelf also and put all the batting in my daughter's old toy chest. Right now it is stacked on top of my son's in another part of the basement, but it is mostly empty. It is a perfect place to store the batting and fiberfill. That will open up another shelf for my fabric. I have far more fabric than I realized. 

So I will get back to carding the fabric and try to figure out what to do with the pieces that are too small for the comic book cards, but too big to throw in with scraps. I don't want to buy more boxes. I have too many already.  I have made decent progress on reorganizing this cabinet though. The mess is being tamed.

Thanks for visiting,

Cathie





Sunday, January 15, 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

Despite a very stressful week for a variety of reasons that I will briefly explain at the end of this post, I managed to make a whole lot of progress on several projects.

First, I have started working on the birth announcement.

 Working from the center wasn't going to work, because that is where the baby's name goes and he isn't due until June. I realized that this piece of Zwiegart 14 count was plenty large enough start working from one end. I have been working on the border. Three sides are completed. It uses a whole lot of floss as the pattern calls for 3 strands of floss. I do like the thick coverage though.

I have decided to continue working on the stocking as the birth announcement is working up quickly and I enjoy stitching the stocking. I have been adding stitches to the tree to the left of the bear.

I stitched the final log of the 10 quilt blocks that I am working on. 

Now I just have to war through adding each log to the blocks. It takes some time....at least for me...to get the seams to match up even with pinning. I am always thrilled when it happens on the first try.

I have completed 24 of 198 rows on the baby blanket. I can only give you a peak as I want this to be a surprise.

 I have adjusted the way I hold the crochet hook so that I keep my thumb more stationary and I have found that I can comfortably stitch 3 rows each day. 

Now for a brief synopsis of my story. I am supposed to be informed of any changes to the schedule of aides that take care of my mom. I wasn't informed that there would be a different aide Christmas day, New Year's day and this past Sunday. On Monday, I called the agency to complain that I hadn't been informed of the changes. Too bad that the agency didn't know about them either. The aide that is normally scheduled for Sundays had clocked in for all those shifts, but had someone she knew taking care of my mother. Now this person seemed very nice when I met her, but it is unclear whether she was even certified for home health care. Needless to say, the aide who did this has since been fired and I now have several new aides covering her shifts. This is difficult at this time as my mother also reentered Hospice care this week as she is barely eating anything any more. The pureed foods that I was making for her are now too thick for her to eat. We have had to thin everything with broth. Somedays she is too week to even use a straw. I am stressed, mad and sad all at the same time. It has been one heck of a week to say the least. 

When I am stressed I not only craft, but I bake. This week I baked a Buttermilk Banana Bread. I thought it was very tasty and a nice way to use up leftover buttermilk and over ripe bananas.

This recipe was just average. I found the bread to be heavy and fairly bland. 

I am joining Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching. Pop on over to her site and see what other bloggers are stitching. My crafts have been my saving grace this past week. They allow me to slow down and take a breath and think. 

I am also linking with Kate at Life in Pieces for 15 Minutes to Stitch. I have no problem doing that each day lately. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 8, 2023

First HQAL post of 2023

This week we are welcoming Connie back to our little group of hand quilters. What a nice way to start the new year.

I haven't been getting all that much stitched on the table topper. I work on it sometimes when I am visiting my mother. This is where I was on the last update.

I have finally finished quilting the center medallion. I am going to just quilt 1/4" away from the seams for the outer borders that have been pieced like a log cabin block. This is different from my original plan of piano keys. I started working on those borders yesterday. I am using 1/4" quilting tape as my guide.

This HQAL is an opportunity for hand quilters to share and motivate each other. The talented quilters below post every three weeks to show our progress and encourage one another. Stop by their sites to see what they are working on. If you have a hand project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.

KathyMargaretDebNanette, SharonKarrinDaisy, Connie and Cathie 


Thanks for stopping by!


Friday, January 6, 2023

2023 Plans - WIPs and new projects

First I want to share the crafty Christmas gifts that I received. My son once again bought me some beautiful fabric that I had put on my Christmas list. I adore these colors together plan to use them in a new quilt as yet to be determined. 

My daughter gave me a new hot glue gun. 

My hot glue gun bit the dust last summer and I can no longer get the glue sticks for my cool melt gun. They glue sticks are an odd shape that I can't find anywhere since AC Moore went out of business. 

I have a whole lot of crafts planned for 2023. First I want to work on the birth announcement for my grandson who is due in June.

 I have already started on the border.

2. I also want to finish the Woodland Animals stocking for my daughter-in-law. You can see that I have recently finished stitching the bear.

3. I just received all of the yarn I need to make a baby blanket for my grandson. I have the first 4 rows of 198 completed. 

I can't show you the pattern as I want it to be a surprise and I know that my son reads my blog. I will be showing some sneak peaks once in a while.

4. I have chosen these two vintage bibs to embroider for my future grandson. 

Aren't they adorable. The right hand one is quite yellowed, but I am hoping it will brighten a little when washed with a little oxiclean after it is stitched. It is brand new as you can see by the 49 cent tag still attached.

5. I want to finish the quilted table topper. I only work on this when visiting my mom, but it shouldn't take too much longer to finish.

6. I have many more blocks to piece for the Log Cabin Stars quilt that I have been making for my daughter and her husband. I doubt I can finish it this year, but I would like to have more than half of the blocks completed. I think I last worked on it in September.

7. I would like to spend some time on Three Boats. It has been quite a while since I added any stitches. I last posted about it in April 2021. Wow. I don't expect to finish it this year.

8. It would nice to finish October Morning also, but there is no timeline for this.

9 and 10. I want to make each grandchild a Christmas ornament. This will be an annual gift, but I don't have any chosen just yet.

I think 10 crafts are enough to definitely plan on.....for now.

Other WIPs that have been hanging around are the cross-stitch box

and a sweater that I started for myself quite some time ago.

I would also like to work on Christmas stockings for each grandchild. This may be too ambitious at this point, but you never know.

It would be nice to start quilting my mother's Overall Sam quilt also. 

Wow, that seems like a whole lot and I haven't even made a dent in the many patterns, charts and kits I have currently in my craft area. I thought I would be able to get to some of them this year, but looking at the list above I don't think that will happen. 

I would be remiss if I didn't include a big Thank You! to Marly at Samplers and Santas. I won here giveaway of Theresa Kogut's "Ol St. Nick". This may have to be added to my list for this year sometime. 


I better go get started on some of these.Time's a wasting.

I will be joining Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching. Pop on over to her site to see what other bloggers are working on. 

Thanks for stopping by!



 

Monday, January 2, 2023

Christmas memories

Christmas on Long Island was quite cold this year. Many days were only around 25 degrees F. Nevertheless, we took advantage of the slightly warmer days to visit some local sights. First, we went on our yearly visit to a local house that goes all out in the decorations department and collects funds for St. Jude Childrens Hospital. Sadly we discovered that this will be the last year that the family will be decorating. Here are a few videos of the many decorations.




As well as a photo of my son and daughter-in-law when they visited on a warmish night.

It was too cold during my daughter's visit to bring my granddaughter to see the house. 

There was also cookie decorating to do.


Even Natalie got into the spirit with a handprint on a Christmas tree cookie.

On Christmas Eve the tree was surrounded by presents.

And the stockings were hung.
We had a very nice Christmas celebration.

Ruby was a little bewildered by all the people.
My mother-in-law got to visit with her great-granddaughter who wore several outfits that day.

It was all topped off by a delicious Christmas dinner.


While she visited, Natalie enjoyed playing on a play mat I found at a local children's thrift store. There is mischief in that face.

We were all supposed to go to Westbury Gardens' Shimmering Solstice on the Friday before Christmas, but rain followed by plummeting temperatures force the venue to cancel that plan. The extreme cold temperatures made it impossible to attend any other night that my daughter-in-law or my daughter and her family were still here. Happily my son stayed a few extra days and we were able to see the event.Thankfully a friend's son was able to use the extra tickets so they didn't go to waste.

Here is a photo tour of the event. This is the view of the side of the mansion as you enter.



You walk on paths through the gardens of the mansion that are lit up with many different styles of lighting. 

That's Hubby walking through the arbor.
I thought the pattern on this lantern was gorgeous! Can't you see that as a quilt stencil?
There were fire pits, heat lamps and benches throughout the walk. There was even a hot chocolate food truck and popcorn cart. The wide hedge lined area below leads you to the mansion. When you arrive at the back of the mansion, there is a light show with music that is projected onto the mansion itself. It was very beautiful.
This is the final display as you leave down the front walkway.


Not everything went smoothly during the holiday season. On the Tuesday after Christmas, soon after my daughter and her family left, I decided to strip the beds and wash sheets, blankets, towels, and table linens as well as our clothing. The first load of wash was in the dryer, the second in the washer when my husband brought down the hamper full of clothes and immediately started yelling for assistance. He was fine, but our sewer line had backed up into our slop sink and overflowed across the basement floor. I don't have to tell you what was in all that mucky water. Thankfully, I think, I had left a big pile of sheets, blankets and towels on the floor and it absorbed a bunch of the water, but the water ran under one wall into the main part of the basement where there is a sectional, rug, television, computer and my sewing area. We used a big pile of scrap towels that we had to absorb the rest. Only the rug and one cardboard box that held my daughter's school keepsakes were ruined.....I was able to empty the box quickly and save the keepsakes...just lost the box. The plumber came within the hour and the sewer line was cleared. Needless to say there was a whole lot more laundry to do once he left and the whole basement tile floor to be washed. I am so glad this happened after most everyone had left and not on Christmas day. 

I hope you enjoyed sharing our Christmas celebrations.

Thanks for stopping by!