Sunday, June 4, 2023

June is here!

June is here and so is my new grandson! Lucas Matthew arrived this past week. He weighs 6 lbs. 15 oz and is 20.5 inches long. 

I have finished the large kitty bib. I don't know why, but this just seemed to take a long time to stitch. 

Now it needs to be washed and ironed. I will be bringing it with me when travel to CA to meet my grandson.

I have to stitch his name and statistics on the birth announcement now. I charted it all out yesterday. I want to bring that to CA also and find a framer out there to finish it. I will share it when it is finished.

I have been steadily working on the Christmas stocking for my granddaughter. Santa is well on the way to being completely stitched. 

His face was somewhat small to work with when embroidering.

I spent the Memorial Day weekend planting my flowers. My MIL had bought a flat of begonias for me for Mother's Day so those were planted along the edge of the back yard flower bed. 

Some of them were planted in this pot too. I also bought the perennial Thrift which you can see to the right.

I only bought one tomato plant and a zucchini plant for veggies. We will be traveling a bunch this summer and I don't want to have to rig up too many watering systems. 

The rest of the pots contain salvia, petunias, impatiens and a few others.

I always plant geraniums in the two pots at my front entrance. It faces South and they do well there.

We bought 2 double bloom impatiens hanging baskets that are hanging beneath our Kousa dogwood tree. It is in full bloom right now.

I planted more than I planned to, but less than last year. I do love seeing flowers on my deck. 

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

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 28, 2023

May Stitch Along Update #2

These past three weeks seem to have flown by. I had hoped to show you the Woodland Animals Stocking completely finished, but I have yet to go to the store to buy the cording needed to sew it up. This is where I was on the last update.

The stocking is now completely stitched with all the beads and sequins added.
I am very pleased with the final result.

So now I have decided that it is long past time to finish October Morning. I have been dithering with the stitching on this here and there. It is a project that my mother started long ago and did not enjoy one bit. She had made many mistakes in the stitching, so I removed it all and started over. It is a stamped cross-stitch that is now about 2/3 complete. I have been sharing my progress on my blog on and off over the years. Now it will be my Stitch Along project until it is finished.....I think. You never know when something else might come along. 
This is where I am currently on October Morning.
I am working on a big mass of trees and leaves right now. Almost all of the blue in the hoop still needs to be stitched. Most of the blue on the left (out of the hoop) is sky that doesn't need any stitching. There are some leaves that need to be stitched on the branches. 

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,


AJCathieLindaHelen, MaryMargaretCindy

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Resuming some WIPs

I have picked up October Morning again for the moment. I added a bunch of stitches on the right hand side above the mailbox.

I needed another cross-stitch to work on as I finished all the stitching and beading my DIL's stocking. I washed it, ironed it and then added the sequins that I am substituting for the buttons. I will post photos after it is all assembled. 

I do want to get back to stitching Three Boats, but it is a large, somewhat daunting task at the moment. 

I also returned to working on the Log Cabin Star quilt. I really want to make some progress on this. I have 91 of 196 of the Log Cabin blocks completed and I am working on the next 10. They are about halfway done. Despite being extremely careful with piecing these blocks, I always seem to have to make adjustments. I really hope this quilt comes together in the end. 

The kitty bib now has a couple of flowers. The kitty's nose and mouth are now finished also. 

The first sleeve is started on my granddaughter's Boat Neck sweater. I think it will knit up fairly quickly. There aren't any more cables to knit and all the rest is just a 4 row pattern repeat with some decreases that I have to keep track of. A couple of car rides this weekend should help me get this first sleeve finished and maybe get the second one started.

I spent a little bit of time in my yard this week cutting out the dead stalks of my hydrangeas and making the daffodil leaves into haystacks. 

Does anyone else do this with their daffodils? I saw it on a Martha Stewart show years ago and have done it ever since. You fold over the leaves and then wrap another leaf around and "tie" it.  I find that it makes the area look so much neater as the leaves yellow and allows the bulbs to stay healthy year to year. Of course, the backs of my thighs were screaming for the next couple of days with all the bending over.

My rhododendrons are in full bloom now. They look so pretty.

The hanging basket was my Mother's Day gift from Hubby.

My irises are blooming also, but I notice that there are more leaves than flowers.
It may be time to thin these out.

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

Thanks for visiting!


Sunday, May 14, 2023

Mother's Day stitching

It's Mother's Day here in the USA today. It's my daughter's first Mother's Day as a mom herself. Hubby and I will see her next week. It is so wonderful to watch my daughter as a mom. She is so in love with her own daughter. My DIL is celebrating her first Mother's Day as a mother-to-be. I can't wait to meet my new grandson.  Hubby and I will be having a quiet day and then an early dinner with my MIL. I will make a visit to my mom. I'm not sure that she always knows that she is my mom, though she still recognizes me. 

I think I will spend a good portion of the day stitching. I have been making progress on my granddaughter's stocking. I am about a third of the way finished now.

That little bird took me over an hour to cut out, embroider, bead, sequin and applique.

 I knew that was going to be the case. I prefer the larger pieces to work on. Next up is a patch of ice and then on to Santa. He is comprised of about 30 pieces. 

For some reason the kitty bib is working up very slowly. I mean really, I haven't even finished the ball of yarn. 

I took a break from the blue floss and stitched the flower stem and grass. I want to get a move on with it as I will bring it with me to meet my grandson in June.

I have been steadily knitting the baby sweater. The back is done and the front is almost done. 

The pattern requires some concentration. It is an 8 row repeat and I have to carefully follow each row. I love the way this is looking though. Only 3 more rows for the front then on to sleeves. 

My back yard is slowly starting to look like Spring has arrived. Here is a view from my daughter's old 2nd floor bedroom. 

Our pool should be getting ready for the summer in a couple of weeks.

My hosta and astilbe are starting to grow.

This azalea is in full bloom and the lavender and butterfly plants are sprouting new growth. There are a whole lot of flower buds on the rhododendron.

These two azaleas always take a while to catch up. They look a lot better since I had our landscaper remove the evergreen that was in between crowding them.

The bluebells planted to hide the windwow well are in full bloom. They make me smile.

I am 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!

Sunday, May 7, 2023

May Stitch Along update #1

 My daughter-in-law's stocking is progressing nicely. This is where it was on the last update:

 You can see that I have added many snowflakes, more branches and the last woodland creature...the owl.


I did not enjoy stitching those snowflakes one bit. Not only are the larger ones very fiddly, but it is difficult to determine their placement.

 At least one large snowflake is placed one stitch up from where it is supposed to be, but I will be the only one who knows which one. The larger snow flakes all have French knots. The pattern calls for the French knots to be made with one strand of floss and two twists around the needle. I experimented with other amounts as these knots went right through the fabric. The knots on the snowflake to the right of the bear are made with two strands of floss and two twists.

 They ended up too large, but I am leaving it as is as it doesn't stand out too much and I am afraid I would snip the fabric if I tried to remove them.

I settled on using one strand of floss and 3 twists around the needle for the multitude of French knots that I finally finished on Thursday. 

On Wednesday I decided to sit down and chart my daughter-in-law's name and determine how I want to add it to the top. I didn't feel like making any more French knots. The pattern does not include a name, but all the rest of our family stockings are personalized. First I looked through my many cross-stitch magazines and pattern books to find an alphabet font that I liked. I charted 4 on cross-stitch graph paper and then asked Hubby's opinion. Thankfully, we agreed on the one that we liked best. 

Because the top of the charted stocking ends in a whole lot of snowflakes, I decided that some kind of border was necessary. I went with a simple two stitch zig-zag that I think is perfect. It is not over powering for this fairly delicate looking stocking. I decided to stitch it in the brightest green, as that seems to be the dominant color. I will add a second border above the name also.

I am stitching the name in the next darker green. I usually use red for the names, but there isn't a true red floss in this chart and I really like sticking with the greens. 

I may add two birds on each side of the name, but I want to stitch it with the two borders before I decide they are needed. I would just turn each bird a quarter turn inward and stitch them that way.

Once all this stitching is completed, I will add the yellow beads that form the garland and some large red sequins as ornaments. The pattern calls for red buttons as the ornaments, but I realized that I have sequins leftover from a long ago project that are just slightly smaller than the recommended button size. I think I like the idea of sequins better any way.

Hopefully I will have a stitching happy dance for the next posting. I may even have the stocking assembled......or maybe not.

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,



Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, April 30, 2023

Oh, my aching.....knee?

I could have said "Oh, my aching back", because that is what is causing my left knee and leg pain. In 2018, I was diagnosed with two herniated discs in my lower back. After a course of steroids and two epidural shots I no longer had back pain, but my left leg/knee was numb. If I failed to keep up with my back exercises, the numbness would intesify. Well since my son's wedding a year ago, not only have I not been good about doing my exercises, but I have gained 10 pounds and been sitting in soft chairs a lot when I knit or cross-stitch. Needless to say, I had a visit with the orthopedist 2 weeks ago and he suggested PT and a 24 hour anti-inflammatory for 2-3 weeks. Friday night I went to bed with my knee a little bit uncomfortable. Within an hour, I was pacing the first floor of my house unable to either sit or lay down until almost 4 in the morning despite taking additional meds. I have an appointment with my orthopedist on Monday morning. I plan to go to PT and get some stronger meds.

Now on to what I have been working on. I finally finished the little bib.

I have started working on the larger one now.

I have been adding pieces to my granddaughter's stocking also. The snowman is almost complete. He has his face, but needs the rest of his scarf and his left arm. 

Knitting my granddaughter's sweater is the project that most likely caused my back/leg problems on Friday night. I was happily sitting on the couch knitting the back of the sweater while watching TV for a couple of hours. I can't sit on a soft seat for that long. I must get up and move around and change seats. 

I wasn't knitting the whole time so the back isn't finished yet, but it is getting close. 

We had a couple of visitors to our pool one morning this week.

They only stayed for a little while.

I wonder if it is the same pair of ducks as last year?

I am joining Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching. I am also linking to Kate at Life in Pieces. Pop on over to these sites to see what other bloggers are up to. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Enjoying a whole lot of stitching time.

I am thoroughly enjoying the pace of my life right now. Retirement is allowing me to stitch when I please, work around the house when I please...not very often, and read when I please. Of course, I find that I have to be sure to get a daily walk in and try to eat in a more healthy way. I have gained some weight that I want/need to lose as my back is starting to cause pain in my knee. All that being said, this is what I have been stitching lately. 

I have been adding pieces to my granddaughter's Christmas stocking. 15 out of 93 steps are completed.

You can see that the snowman is starting to come to life.

On rainy or nasty days, I spend some time in my basement where my sewing machine is. I am working blocks 82-91 out of 196. 

Sometimes the logs just sew on very easily and other times I have to spend some time with the seam ripper. I very rarely add a log to all ten blocks without having to remove at least one or two. Sometimes more.

I am almost finished with the first of two embroidered bibs. I just have to finish the stitching on the pup. 

Finally, I started a new project. Of course I did. Well, I had finished both baby blankets and I wanted another yarn project. You really can't blame me for wanting to feel yarn in my hands with so may sewing projects. Now can you? I was going through my mothers yarn and found three skeins of this baby yarn. Just enough to make a baby sweater. Mom also had a few baby sweater pattern books and pamphlets. 

I found a boat neck pullover pattern that seemed easy enough to knit. I am making a size 2 for my granddaughter. I figure making a larger size will give me enough time to finish it. I made a whole lot of progress on it in the car traveling to see my daughter and her family last weekend and pulled almost the whole thing out on Friday. You see, the ribbing calls for the knit stitches to be done in the back loop. I did that and was very proud of myself. Unfortunately, for the body of the sweater the knit stitches are supposed to be the usual kind and I kept on working in the back loop. I thought the pattern didn't look as it should, but I only realized it when I was getting ready to work the armhole shaping. Sigh.....

I updated my progress on my daughter-in-law's stocking in my last post that you can see here. I have started cleaning some windows around the house. This is the first year that I am really not finding satisfaction in this task. I usually approach it with gusto and this year I just don't want to do it. 

Hubby and I made our first after-dinner trip to the beach of the season to walk the boardwalk. We saw a very pretty sunset.

I am joining Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching. I am also linking to Nina-Marie at Creations...Quilts, Art...Whatever. Pop on over to their sites to see what other bloggers are stitching. 

Thanks for stopping by!