Sunday, August 31, 2014

Humid Slow Sunday Stitching

First, I have to thank those of you who have recently become followers of my blog. It is always great to make new acquaintances. Thanks also to all of you who write comments. I enjoy reading your encouraging words.
Now, it is really humid here on Long Island today. Thank goodness for central air conditioning so that I can still work on some stitching. I was trying to finish the first page of Large Cross-stitch #1 by the end of today, but I don't think that is likely. This is where I was for my last update in mid-August.

I have since progressed to here. Trust me there is difference.
I have been trying to work on this for about a half hour (or one music CD) a day. I can't believe I have 9 more pages!

I am going to try to work on my table runner today also. I am happy to say that I reorganized my basement to make machine sewing a more pleasant experience so I am excited now to work on it. I will be posting some craft room pictures in a future post.

I am joining Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching today. Pop on over to her site to see what other bloggers are stitching. 
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Christmas Knitting Started

So I am a little concerned about this vest that I hope to make for my mom for Christmas. The size is what concerns me. I am not sure whether to make a medium or a large. I want to surprise her (she will tell me not to make it otherwise), but I also want to be sure it fits when it is done. The pattern is in metric measure, but I did the conversion and of course the measurements for my mom come out right at the M to L cut-off point. I cast on the large and a couple of rows in I decided it looked huge. I frogged it and started over with the medium. I may need a clandestine trip to mom's house to measure one of her store bought vests for size. I am not even sure where she stores them. Sigh.....

I am really enjoying working with this yarn though. It is really soft and knits up quite easily. It is a dark teal color which I think Mom will like.

As for reading, I have finished Sweet Water by Christina Baker Kline. I will try other books by this author as many people like her writing, but I have to say I was somewhat disappointed. This was this author's first book and maybe that is the excuse, but I didn't find the characters at all engaging. Although I should have, I felt no sympathy for those characters who warranted it. Many of the character were stereotypical Southern boors. The book didn't make be laugh, cry or in fact feel anything. There was supposed to be a mystery, but there really wasn't. This was just a sad story about the effects infidelity and alcohol. This book also didn't really resolve anything in the end. You wanted to know more, but not enough to want to read further.

On a lighter note, I hope, my next book is Beachcombers by Nancy Thayer. I haven't started reading it yet as I am still recovering from the last book.

I am joining Ginny's Yarn Along again this week. What are you knitting/crocheting? What are reading?  Pop on over to her site to see what other bloggers are up to.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Finished basket!

Yes, I finished another project. Here is my basket.
It came out somewhat different from the picture in the pattern for a couple of reasons. First, I ran out of yarn and had to eliminate at least one pattern repeat so it is shorter. Second, the base is wider than the sides. This is totally my fault as I used two strands of craft yarn in the base (I wanted it to be sturdy and knew I was short on yarn) and then I used one strand of craft yarn with one strand of sport yarn for the sides. No matter how many pictures I took in different lights, I could not get the two different blue yarns to show up. 

I wanted to crochet a basket for myself so this was a learning experience that I am very happy with. I will probably make this pattern again, but I also feel confident that I could design my own basket with what I have learned.

I am joining Ginny's Yarn Along again this week. What are you knitting/crocheting? What are you reading? Pop on over to her site to see what other bloggers are up to.

I finished reading The Debutante by Kathleen Tessaro. This book was a present day story that also looked back in time through old letters. Although this book kept me interested, I really wanted to know more about the Blythe sisters whose story is told only through brief letters. There is the mystery of a debutante who disappeared without a trace many years ago. The research into this mystery is the very interesting. The present and past stories intertwine and the characters have similar experiences, interactions and emotions. The main present day characters are somewhat interesting, but not extremely engaging. I  wanted more from them. Their lives are pretty depressing. There is not a lot of joy in this book. There are some twists and turns and a little surprise at the end. I will definitely try another book by this author.

Now I am reading Sweet Water by Christina Baker Kline. I am not very far into it yet and I seem to have lost my reading mojo. I will comment on it in the future.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Peanuts quilt finished!

Well I put my mind to it and I finished binding the Peanuts quilt. Actually the title of today's post is not quite right. I still have to add a label, but I consider this quilt finished. The label will be done soon.
Here it is!
 Here are some close-ups of the border quilting.

 Now that this quilt is done, I have returned to my cross-stitching. This is where Large Cross-stitch #1 was the last time I posted about it. 
This is what I have completed in the last couple of days.
I enjoy stitching the big swaths of one color. Thankfully there is a lot of that in this chart. I hope to finish the first page that I am stitching by the end of the month. I want to get a move on with it as I have another large cross-stitch to work on as well as my own designs which have lately fallen by the wayside. 

I am joining Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching. Pop on over to her site to see what other bloggers are stitching.
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Yarn Along

I have been steadily working on my basket and I am very pleased with it so far. After completing the base, I realized I would probably run out of my blue craft yarn before finishing the sides. The pattern calls for two strands of DK weight yarn held together, but I am using up some stiff craft yarn. I decided to change one of the strands to a sport weight yarn that has a somewhat brighter hue. Now I should have plenty of yarn to finish this project. 

Unfortunately, I can't get a good picture that shows the different yarns.

It is an experiment for my own use so I really don't mind the yarn change. I am hoping to make more baskets in the future as gifts and then I will be more conscious of the yarn that I use.

I am joining Ginny's Yarn Along again this week. What are you knitting/crocheting? What are you reading? Pop on over to her site to see what other bloggers are crafting and reading?
I am also linking with Tami's WIP Wednesday and Keep Calm and Craft On. Check out these blogs as well.

I have been reading up a storm it seems. I went to the library in a neighboring town and picked up these books. My hometown's library is quite small and does not have as large selection as the neighboring library. Both libraries are less that 5 minutes from my home. My library card is good for books at libraries throughout our local county. 
Most of these authors have been recommended by my fellow bloggers. They have been pretty reliable book reviewers.

I have already finished The Irresistable Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe by Mary Simses. This is a very light-hearted book with a few too many embarrassing situations for my taste. Not racy, just embarrassing. There is a little family mystery and some romance in a small town in Maine. Overall, I enjoyed this book. It certainly was a quick read.
I am now in the midst of The Debutante by Kathleen Tessaro. I am enjoying this book also. This is definitely a different genre from the book above. I am almost halfway through and I still am unable to characterize it. There is a present day story that slightly intertwines with a story from the 1930's. So far I am finding it interesting.  

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Old Westbury Gardens

Last weekend Hubby and I made a trip to Old Westbury Gardens on Long Island, NY. There are gardens and a mansion. I thought I would share some of the pictures I took with you.

This is the former home of the Phipps family. Photography wasn't allowed inside the home. Many of the furnishings are from the 1700's. I just love touring historic homes.
Below are some headstones from the dog cemetery on the grounds. We came upon this before we saw any flowers.
 This was inside a beautiful walled garden.

Here is a little Thatched Cottage that served as the children's play house. So cute.
 The children had couple of little log cabins to play in also.

 This is the back of the mansion.

This is the view from the back of the mansion.
These urns are just gorgeous and there are a lot of them.
This is what would be the mansion's pool. From the pool you could view a small lake. It is quite stagnant now and not very pretty, but I am sure it once was  a nice view.
I hope you enjoyed the tour.
Back in my own back yard, the birds were enjoying a feast at the feeder.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Yarn Along

I have been seeing many blogger posts concerning Christmas gifts so I figured I had better get my act together and start something. 
I really only have one or two handmade gifts planned at this time. I really need to start the first one though. I want to make this vest for my mom. She is always cold in the winter and she really likes longer buttoned vests. I found this vest pattern in my LYS. It is in Ella Rae Hyde Park Story, Book #14.

I am using this acrylic yarn. The color is off in the picture. It is more teal in person.

I chose this yarn because mom is 87 years old and is not going to take the time to block a wool sweater. This vest is going to be machine washed and maybe even dried. Now I have to cast on and start knitting. I hope I can finish it before Christmas.

I finished Allegiant by Veronica Roth. To tell the truth, I was disappointed in this third book of the trilogy. I understand why the author decided to change the voice of this book, but I found it confusing. The story line itself was fine although I wanted more. I did not feel that in the end there was enough resolution of characters or story line. I felt that there needed to be something more in the epilogue. If you have read the first two books, you must read this book, but you may also be disappointed.

I have also just finished reading Island Girls by Nancy Thayer. It is due back to the library today. This is a wonderful book about "sisters". I enjoyed reading about all of the complicated relationships of the women in this book. This was a fast-paced, easy summer read. Since it is set in Nantucket, RI there are a lot of beach references. I am so glad I found this author from fellow bloggers. I now have a whole slew of books to look forward to reading. I am sure I will pick up another of her books when I am at the library today.

Joining Ginny for Yarn Along this week. What are you knitting/crocheting? What are you reading? Check out her blog to find out what other bloggers are up to.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Slow Sunday Stitching

Thanks to everyone for sharing your opinion on the extra quilting for the Peanuts Christmas quilt. I listened. I think I knew all along that I had to stitch the extra quilting. Rather than finish the last side of the border, I plunged into quilting the 20 little panels. I knew that if I finished that border I probably wouldn't want to do the accent quilting. The panels are now done and I will be marking and stitching the last part of the border on this cold and rainy Sunday. They look great and I am so glad I did the extra stitching.
Here are some of the panes with the extra outline quilting.

The stitching really shows up when you outline the snow drifts.

Now of course I am looking to the next project. I have a table runner in the works. 

The pattern is from Twist-and-Turn Bargello Quilts by Eileen Wright.

I have a lot of strips to cut for it. The colors are a little off because of the rainy day photography. 

 I still have some more to cut. Then on to sewing!

I also have a jelly roll in my fabric stash.

Yesterday I decided to start looking for patterns. I can't believe that I couldn't find anything appealing in all of the books and magazines I have collected. Few of those patterns use jelly rolls. So I trolled the web and found this Boxing Day Jelly Roll Quilt pattern.

I think this might be my next quilt project after the table runner. I love the geometric look.

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

I haven't worked on my cross-stitch at all in the past week. No updates there.

Thanks for stopping by!