Sunday, February 18, 2024

Another UFO finish

I have finally finished the cross-stitch box that was a birthday gift 4 years ago. It is a wooden box with a perforated top. 

It used a whole lot of floss to stitch as the top is about 1/4 inch thick. I also broke 2 needles in the process. I found this pattern online. I may still glue a piece of fabric or felt to the back of the motif as it was difficult to secure some of the ends. 

Speaking of birthdays, Hubby's was the day before Valentine's Day. We had snow that day so he met with his university students via Zoom. This was the view from our front window. It was a heavy wet snow that clung to the tree branches.

I bought Hubby's favorite Entenmann's Chocolate Fudge cake and lit some candles.

I spent part of the snowy day adding logs to the next 10 blocks of the Log Cabin Star quilt.

I have one more plain log to add before getting to the two frustrating logs and y-seam. I hope to have these blocks finished by the end of the week. 

 Snowy days are good for reading also. I recently read "Slow Waltz in Cedar Bend" by Robert James Waller.

 This was another of my mother's books. I have two more of hers yet to read. I would not recommend this book. It wasn't really bad, just not very interesting or compelling. I could put it down and not really care to find out what the next chapter was about. 

I am now reading "A Miracle for St. Cecelia's" by Karen Valentine. 

So far it is fairly interesting and I am looking forward to reading each chapter. This is one of the books that I picked up for free at the Traveler's Restaurant in Union, CT. So far, I have chosen well when we dine there.

I also decided to work on one of the puzzles that I took from my mom's house when she passed. I would like to donate some of them, but I want to know that each one has all of its pieces. This puzzle went together fairly quickly and even had an extra piece. 

I am not sure if that piece goes to one of the other puzzles or was always an extra so I have put it aside. I will seal this puzzle box and make a note on the bottom of the day that it was recently completed and that it is not missing any pieces as of that day. 

I am joining Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching. Pop on over to her site to see what other bloggers are stitching.  I will be working on Three Boats....update next week.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Valentine's Day Crafting

Hubby and I don't do much to celebrate Valentine's Day. We get each other cards. I get him a box of chocolate and he gets me a bouquet of flowers. I usually try to make a special dinner. Hubby's birthday is the day before and mine is the end of the month so Valentine's Day is low-key. I don't have many Valentine themed crafts around. I designed and stitched the pillow that is currently in the header photo. The little pillow from Little House Needleworks below hangs on a cupboard door all year long, but it goes with the holiday theme.

This fabric heart wreath I made many, many years ago when I used to sell at craft shows.
This small ribbon wreath was made for shows also.
I think my daughter may have helped me make this little hanger when I was trying to get her interested in quilting. Again, many years ago.

 This year I decided I needed a couple more Valentine themed craft items around. You may remember last month when I made the phone jack cover. Well I had bought two different wooden houses at Dollar Tree. I decorated the second house for Valentine's Day.


I used felt, puff paint, scrap ribbons and some pompoms. All of which were in my crafting stash. Again, the black plaid wooden house only cost $1.

As you know, I have been doing some organizing in my basement, which entails going through years and years worth of craft magazines. I am keeping some, recyling some (that I have cut out the few craft instructions that I want) and donating some. As I was perusing one issue of Crafting Traditions I found this little heart and decided to stitch up my own version. Again, I used scraps that I have.

It was quick and easy to make. Just the kind of craft I was looking for. Here it is hanging on the corner cabinet in my kitchen.

I went back to working on my daughter's quilt and was able to finish the 5 blocks that were giving me fits. I have 121 of 196 completed. I also started on the next 10 blocks.


I have actually already added two more logs to these since I took the photo. 

I have been in a baking mode. Don't ask me why as I usually give half of my baking to my mother-in-law and freeze most of the other half. Hubby doesn't have a sweet tooth (except for chocolate) and I really don't need all the calories. I do have tons and tons of clipped recipes though that I want to try so I have been baking.

The first was a Cranberry Orange cake. Although it was made using cake flour and baked in a tube pan, it was really more like a quick bread.


Next I made Oatmeal Raisin Breads. These were yeast breads that came out quite dense.


They were tasty, but nothing special. I also made a new corn bread recipe to go with chicken barley soup. No photos of these. The soup recipe turned out great and is a keeper. The corn bread was tasty, but also nothing special. I guess you could say that I purged two recipes and found two that we like a lot.

It seems that I have been pretty busy this month.  

I am joining Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching. Grab yourself a cup of tea or coffee and pop on over to her site to see what other bloggers are stitching. 

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thanks for stopping by! 




Sunday, February 4, 2024

February Stitch Along post #1

October Morning is done! Happy Dance!!!

 Followed by extreme disappointment. After working on this for many years, it was dirty so I hand washed it following all the instructions and using a bunch of Color Catchers in the water. It looked great when I was done, but as it dried the maroon floss bled. 

I have spent the last week working to remove all of the pink spots. So far, the internet recommendations to use ice is working, but it is a slow process. 

I also have to buy some Goo Gone as I originally had this piece attached to a scroll frame using peel and stick velcro and there is a gummy residue along two edges. I was able to trim off some of it, but not all as there would not be enough fabric for framing. 

After all of my cross-stitching work, I will get this sorted out. I am not willing to give up on this piece. 

On the brighter side, I have resumed working on Three Boats. 

This is where I left off in April of 2021. 


Oh my, has it really been that long since I worked on this?

I sat down with it this week and managed to determine where I had left off on the current page of the chart. I am working on page number 13 which is the 3rd page I am stitching out of 24 pages. I am working down the left side rather than across so the page numbers do not go in order. I have managed to add a bunch of confetti stitches this week. This is where I am now.


You can see that I am filling in the first of the three boats. I have a feeling you will be seeing this piece for quite some time. I hope you don't get bored.

Thank you to Avis at Sewing Beside the Sea for hosting this 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.

Avis, ClaireGunChristinaKathyMargaret,

HeidiJackieSunnyMeganDeborahSharonDaisy

CathieLindaHelen, MaryMargaretCindy

Thanks for stopping by! 

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Organizing?

Typically, January is the month for organizing your home. Many magazines, blogs and instagram posts are currently touting how to purge and organize. Since my basement currently looks like a storage facility and is making it difficult to comfortably craft, I decided that I had to start making a dent somewhere. I am taking the approach that if we were to sell our house and move, what would I really want to pack. 

I started with my clothes closet. I share a walkin in closet with Hubby and we keep it very neat, but there were items in there that I no longer wore or used. I got rid of a few tops that I can't remember wearing in the last 5 or so years. I put aside for donation a few purses that I no longer use (although I have tried to in the past year) as they no longer fit my needs. I threw out a set of queen sized flannel sheets that we haven't used since we remodeled our home 20 years ago. Yes, 20 years. One of the pillowcases had been tossed long ago and the sheets had yellowed badly. I should probably throw out the other set I have, but I remember Hurricane Sandy when we lost power for over a week and needed those sheets and many blankets at night when it was 45 degrees outside. There really wasn't a whole lot more that I got rid of, but there is a little more room on the shelves now and they look neater.

I have been looking around my house at my collections and knick-knacks and realizing that I just don't love some of them anymore. When we were first married, I loved the color lavender and collected lavender Wedgewood pieces. The only lavender room in our house now is our first floor powder room and I would like to change that sometime. The Wedgewood stands out like a sore thumb no matter where I put it. 

The pitcher on the right was a gift from my son when he visited Croatia. I will keep that out somewhere. I am thinking of storing the Wedgewood away for a while just to be sure that I no longer want it.

I moved on to the guest bathroom on our second floor and found several expired items in the vanity and medicine cabinet. There were 3 cans of shaving cream that my son used to use when he lived at home over 10 years ago. I will restock with the essentials the next time I go grocery shopping, but this is now up to date.

My kitchen is in pretty good shape, but there are items that I have forgotten about and/or no longer use or care to use. I have set a few aside for donation. I was also unhappy with the way the open shelf on my corner cabinet was looking. I borrowed a few items from elsewhere in my kitchen and added a candle and I like the look of it now. The little sparrow was one of several ornamental birds that my mom collected.

I mentioned my basement/craft area. This is its current state. 

Yes, that is my sewing machine table at the bottom of the photo below.
These are the shelves holding my craft books and some craft supplies. I have been going through some of the really old magazines. Several of them only have one or two items that I think I might want to try so I am clipping them and putting the rest of the magazine in recycling. Many of the magazines are from the 1990s. I am making room. Any project book that I no longer want is being donated.

There is a wonderful sectional and an old TV with a gaming console that is sometimes still used. It is hiding behind my sewing table in the second photo. We have file cabinets, an old computer desk, my husband's childhood desk, and a keyboard as well as a whole lot of items that were in storage at my mom's house and a bunch of items we inherited from relatives. The number of photo albums that we have is sinful, but it is hard to let them go. I also have photo slides from my mom, but I think there are physical photos of all of them. My job today will be to see if I can match each slide to a photo and cull what I can.  

One thing that I removed from my basement were my cookie cutters. 


Don't ask me why I stored them there, I couldn't tell you. I took my mom's cookie jar that I have always loved with the plan to use it when I made cookies. It is a classic 1950/60s cookie jar. 

Unfortunately, the inside looks like this.

I really don't want to store cookies in it. The light bulb went off and I decided to store my cookie cutters in it. I sorted them all and put aside some for donation that I will never use. All my cookie cutters except for 4 gingerbread people cutters fit in the jar. I put those in a Christmas Cookie tin. Now my cookie cutters are conveniently stored in the kitchen and I can still enjoy the cookie jar.

I have already filled the empty small plastic bin with thread spools that came from my mom and MIL. It is filled to the brim with mostly polyester thread. Not sure I will ever use it so some of them may be donated also. 

As you can tell, my organizing will probably last most of the year, though I would like to have a garage sale in the Spring.....I think. It is a lot of work and I am not sure I really want to do it. Alternatively, everything that is in good condition will be donated to a local thrift store.

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Variety

Embroidery, crochet, cross-stitch and quilting. Those are the crafts that I have been working on lately.

First, I finally added the missing stitches to this embroidery I inherited from an aunt years ago.

 

 I'm not sure why she did most of the stitching in green ...even the flowers..., but I found a floss that I had also inherited from her and finished the stitching.

 I have four of these muslin pieces. I don't know if they were supposed to be dish towels or what. Some of them are quite stained.

 I will save them for now and hopefully cut out the motifs and sew them into a wall hanging quilt some day. 

I am have ditched the secret crocheting. It was supposed to be a crocheted chick in a decorated Easter egg. Let's just say that I was highly disappointed with the chick when all the pieces were completed. The proportions were wrong and it was sort of ugly even after I sewed some of the pieces together and added the embroidery.


I didn't even bother to unravel it. It went straight into the garbage as did the pattern. 

I am trying very hard to finish these blocks. There is one block of these 10 that is giving me fits and I currently just can't face trying to make it right.

I need 196 and I now have 111 completed. I can't begin to tell you how frustrating these blocks can be sometimes. I really hope that, in the end, I can manage to get them to go together so that they lay flat. 

I am working on filling in the background of this cross-stitched box lid. 

This is one of those UFOs that have been hanging around too long. It was a birthday gift 4 years ago. Since it is a wooden lid it is thicker than working on cloth and uses a whole lot of floss. I had to dig around in my stash to find another skein of the white Coats & Clark floss that I inherited several years ago that I am using. Thankfully there was one more full skein. It should be enough to finish.

I moved Three Boats back to my 2nd floor stitching area. Do you remember it?

This is where I left off quite some time ago. Not very much has been completed.

I sat with it yesterday to figure out where I am on the chart. It was way too dark and cloudy outside for me to get enough light (even with the lights on) to start stitching it again. 

Recently, after having trouble with our landline telephone due to the copper wiring, we are using home phones that are internet based. (We each have cell phones, but we have had the landline number for over 30 years and it is bundled with our internet service). Getting rid of the copper component meant that the phone hanging in our kitchen no longer worked. We took it down, but were left with the phone plate.

Hubby suggested that a craft could cover it. Of course I had to try. I stopped at Dollar Tree and found this cute little wooden house.

Other than the $1 house, I decided to use only items that I already had in my craft stash. Yesterday, I added some scrap fabric to the interior. 

I found some plastic stencils and used one of them to add the word home to another scrap of fabric using an archival ink pen. I tea dyed a piece of lace. I decided to use rustic ribbons for bows. I found the cute little wooden bird (that I didn't know I had) in a small miscellaneous bin and painted it maroon. I have a bin of paints that I rarely use any more. The mossy straw at the bottom was in yet another rarely used bin. I am pretty happy with how it turned out.

That is what I have been up to lately craftwise.

Last week both of our children and their families visited. We had 5 days with 8 people in our home. It is very busy here with a 16 month old and 7 month old and bitter cold weather outside. We celebrated Christmas with our son and also his January birthday. I did not get any crafting done during that time, but I enjoyed their visit immensely.

I did finish reading See Me by Nicolas Sparks soon after everyone left last Sunday. It is a hefty book and took a while to read. It is somewhat of a departure from his usual type of novel and I really enjoyed it.  I have two more of my mother's novels that I want to read before donating them. 

I am also trying to read my very large backlog of magazines. I tend to read these with breakfast/lunch each day. Not sure why I got so behind (some are 4 years old), but I have been going through them very quickly now. 

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

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 14, 2024

First Stitch Along post of 2024

Those 6 weeks from the last Stitch Along post really went by quickly. This is where I was on October Morning mid December.

I have added a bunch of stitches since then and have moved further to the right hand side where there is a lot of confetti.


You can see all the stitches that I added on the right hand side.

I am getting much closer to having this finished soon. Maybe by the next Stitch Along post in three weeks it will be done. 

Thank you to Avis at Sewing Beside the Sea for hosting this 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.

Avis, ClaireGunChristinaKathyMargaret,

HeidiJackieSunnyMeganDeborahSharonDaisy

CathieLindaHelen, MaryMargaretCindy

Thanks for stopping by! 

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Plans for 2024

Happy New Year! 

It is time to make some crafting plans for the 2024. I have two WIPs that I am determined to finish this year.....October Morning and the Log Cabin Star quilt. Of course you know that there are lots more crafts already planned and some that will just happen along. 

I have added another log to the next 10 blocks of the Log Cabin Star quilt. This last log gave me fits again. I don't know what it is, but sometimes these logs with the diamonds go well the first time through and other times there is a lot of seam ripping. That is certainly what happened this week. Yet, the log is on all 10 and the fabric pieces are chosen for the next log.  


I have been adding stitches to October Morning, but I don't have a photo today.

I also started this crochet project. It's a secret so I can't tell you what it is, but I need to make two of them. Of course this is one of those surprise items that come along.

If you want to know just how long I have been saving this pattern, the date in the lower right corner is Woman's Day/ March 27, 1978. I think it is well past time that I make this item. When I was going through my saved patterns....of all different crafts....I started to throw out those that I realize I will just never make or that I no longer care for. I need to really start purging some patterns.

Before I reveal some more of my crafting plans, I want to share with you this organizational mess.

This was my dining room yesterday at 4 pm.....it still looks like that this morning. These are several of my Christmas storage boxes. Yes, that is a Pampers box from over 30 years ago. I also inherited 3 large storage boxes of Christmas decorations from my mother as well as a small cardboard box and a large box of tree ornaments. I have yet to sort through the ornaments. That box currently resides in my basement. I was able to quickly empty one of the 3 boxes as there were 9 unadorned wreaths and a few other items that I just didn't want. I took that box and filled it with all of my own Christmas greenery items as well as a few of my mom's. That is now in the garage waiting to be stored on the shelf. One of her boxes is filled with vintage putz houses as well as a plastic church from my childhood and her stable with 2 nativity sets....one from mom's childhood. That is also in the garage waiting to be stored as it is well packed and I didn't feel like sorting it. 
I knew that I also had a few decorations of my own that I no longer want. Please note that there are 6 boxes of Christmas decor that you can see with another 5 in my basement as well as 2 boxes of lights (one for outdoors and one for the tree). Do you think I have waaaay to many Christmas decorations? I do, but I have trouble parting with them. What I decided to do is put all of my Santas together in one box and all of the snowmen together in another. They have been scattered throughout all the boxes and it makes decorating a challenge sometimes. Also, I thought that I may want to keep the snowmen out throughout January, but that was impossible as they were in several different boxes. I also wanted to keep some of my mom's decorations, but I needed to add them to my boxes. So I emptied almost all of the boxes and started a play Christmas decoration Tetris. I have made great progress, but I got tired yesterday. I plan on finishing the storing....fingers crossed....today.

Well enough about that, let me finally tell you my 2024 crafting plans. I have several WIPs that I would like to finish. I will share photos of these item as I work on them. There are some new items that I want to start also.

1. October Morning
2. Log Cabin Star quilt
3. Finish stitching the cross-stitch lid of a box
4. Finish an embroidered apron
5. Finish the Tweety pillow
6/7. Make 2 I-Spy quilts
8. Make 2 Felt Christmas ornaments for my grandchildren (a July project)
9. Finish (maybe) my maroon sweater (I am not sure it is possible) 
10. Finish the Overall Sam quilt that my mom pieced (quilting and binding needed)
11. Work on Three Boats (do you remember that cross-stitch?)
12. Work on Summer Oak Embroidery (I'm not sure I ever shared this old WIP)
13. Start one of 4 cross-stitch projects that I have waiting in the wings
14. Try my hand at making machine stitched rope baskets.
15. Start the 3D looking ball quilt that needs to be hand pieced or a tumbling blocks quilt. 

 I am truly hoping that I can successfully complete the first ten. Remember though that I have already started a crocheted project that is not on the list and I want to make small gift for a friend's daughter who is expecting in February. 

I am joining Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching. Pop on over to her site to see what other bloggers are up to. I hope to add a few stitches to October Morning today after I finish my organizing.

Thanks for stopping by!