Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Crafting and Social Distancing

Many of you know that I live on Long Island in New York which is the USA's epicenter of this awful coronavirus. I have been home from both of my teaching jobs now for 2+ weeks and will continue to be at least until April 30th as per our governor's order. His steady level-headed approach has made the reasons for  this social distancing easy to understand. I am amazed though that there still are those people who don't get the gravity of the situation. There are a few people in my own neighborhood that are organizing large play dates and interacting themselves without taking the necessary distancing precautions. 

Hubby and I have been mostly staying in our home except for walks around the neighborhood or visits to our elderly mothers to bring food and perform household chores that they are no longer able to do on their own. We try to limit any shopping to once per week or less. I must say that if COVID-19 hasn't made it to your area yet be grateful, but be on guard. Wash your hands and stay home when it does eventually arrive. This is scary.

Here is a video of what life is like in my neck of the woods. I didn't make the video, but I know each and every one of these places. Please, please stay home.

Okay, enough of my rant. Life is scary and crafting can make it more bearable. I have definitely had more time to craft as I am home all day. Sure I still have to prepare lectures and complete grading for my now online university class, as well as conduct twice weekly extra help sessions for my high school position. That being said, I finished the ear warmer that I started over the winter.
I love the sparkly purple yarn. This is the first time that I have attempted cables and I think I succeeded quite nicely. The pattern is Woven Cable Headband from Ravelry.

I have also made good progress on Jingle.
That "e" had to be frogged once which is why it has yet to be completed. It turns out the "e" is one row lower than the rest of the word. Once I got to the end of the floss I was just done for the day at the time. I am enjoying working on this now. I think I will go finish that "e".

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 29, 2020


It's time for me to share my progress on Three Boats with everyone.
Three weeks ago I joined this SAL and showed the meager beginnings of this large piece....all black.
 I have added another 100+ stitches and finally have a little bit of color.

You can find out more about this Stitch-a-long hosted by Avis at Sewing Beside the Sea. Please visit the other participants below and see what wonderful projects they are working on.

AvisClaireGunCaroleSueConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHeidiJackieSunnyHayleyMeganDeborah, Mary MargaretRenee, CarmelaJocelynSharonDaisyAnneConnieAJJennyLauraCathieLinda

I am also joining Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching. Pop on over to her site to see what other bloggers are stitching. I think I will add some stitches to Three Boats today. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Spring is Here!

I am sitting here in my living room writing this post and listening to the birds sing in the early morning. Spring is here! The cold weather may not be cooperating, but nature is. I have had one lonely crocus ...
and the first daffodils bloom in my yard.
These are out front with andromeda blooming behind them.
 These I can see from my kitchen window.
I truly love daffodils. There should be plenty more emerging over the next few days.
I did some baking this week in order to use up the buttermilk I bought to make Irish Soda Bread. These are Irish Soda Scones and they are oh so delicious.
They have a powdered sugar glaze with orange rind that adds just the right hint of sweetness. I used raisins instead of currants and left out the caraway seeds as I don't like them. Yum...
I have been getting a fair amount of stitching completed with all this social distancing.
I finally added that bright blue to Three Boats.
It still doesn't look like much, but it is just the beginning.
I also added more red stitching to Jingle.
You can see that I added the last word of the saying "go" and started the J in the second Jingle. I had actually finished that J and then realized that although the top row was correct every other row was one stitch too far left. I had to "unstitch" all that and start over. As you can see, I didn't get to finish it again.
I borrowed a library book to my Kindle. 
Cover art
I have read this book before, but it is easy reading and easy to lose yourself in the story. I decided that was just what I needed right now. I think I will read the entire trilogy plus one in order to keep my mind engaged. I have also been enjoying watching "Too Cute" on Animal Planet and of course some good old Hallmark movies. 

I am joining Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching. Pop on over to her site to see what other bloggers are stitching. I will finish that J for Jingle today and maybe move on the to rest of the word.

Stay safe, stay healthy and stay home.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Another finish!

Having some time off has been beneficial to my crafting.
 I have a finish!  I finally finished the scarf that matches the hat!
Here is a close-up of the stitch pattern.
 It was a very easy crocheted pattern called Soft Seed Stitch Hat and Scarf Set that I found on Ravelry. Winter is over, but I can use it next year or decide to donate the set which was the original plan.

I am now knitting an ear warmer....also no longer needed this year.
This is my first attempt at cables and was very easy to learn. It is Woven Cable Headband also found on Ravelry. I am so very happy with how it is coming along.
The yarn has a sparkly silver thread running through it. I love it. I will definitely keeping this for myself. 

I think I will be having a few more finishes and be starting several more projects as I hunker down at home. The schools here are closed for the next two weeks, but I suspect that will continue for much longer. I will be teaching my university class twice a week via an online program starting next week. I am not sure how easy/difficult that is going to be, nor do I have any idea how I will administer exams.

I am visiting my elderly mother most days as she is alone in her home. It isn't possible to bring her to my home and she is comfortable in hers. She struggles to cook dinner and can't do the laundry in the basement, so that is what I am doing for her. I will only visit the grocery store when it is necessary and I am cancelling all unnecessary appointments. 

Please follow the guidelines and stay healthy.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Changing times

I am staying home a lot more these days. The university where I teach was one of the first to close as there was a student with a possible case of coronavirus. They tested negative, but we had a week of classes basically canceled and now we are entering Spring Break. Following that, we are moving to online instruction. There is a learning curve there for me, but Hubby has already conducted a couple of classes using the online tool and will help me get up to speed to continue teaching my students.

The school district that I work at has not yet closed down, but will have two days at the beginning of the week just for faculty and staff to learn online instruction. I don't teach at the school....I work as more of a full time tutor so I don't know why I need to attend these days. I am not sure what will happen after these first two days. I would rather not have go in as both Hubby and I are the primary aides to our elderly mothers. I don't want to be carrying the virus into their homes. Both of them are staying home..no shopping, unnecessary doctor's or hairdresser appointments. 

I hope all of you stay healthy. Keep washing those hands!!

On a lighter note, I received a wonderful gift from Gail at The Cozy Quilter. A few weeks ago she showed three beautiful table runners that she had finished and was planning on donating. I absolutely adored one of them. Gail very kindly gifted it to me and it has a new home on my kitchen table where I can enjoy it every day.
 Here is a pic without the candle.
Isn't this gorgeous!

I have had some time to cross-stitch after my high-school job as a result of all the above. I added quite a few stitches to Jingle.
I have almost finished the ribbon that goes around the corner. I have started the berries near the bird....I got tired of stitching green. 

I also added just under 100 more stitches to Three Boats. I am finally adding some color. Not much....but some.
You can see that beautiful bright blue that I have laid out. That is the next color that I will be adding! Finally some brightness. 

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 adding some stitches to Jingle today. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 8, 2020


So I did it. I joined a Stitch-a-long hosted by Avis at Sewing Beside the Sea. This is a different kind of stitch-a-long. You work at your own pace on a project of your choice and post your progress every three weeks. This is right up my alley and will allow me to focus on Three Boats at least once ever three weeks...more if I want to. 
That being said, the project I am working on is Three Boats on a Tropical Beach, by Artecy cross-stitch. 
Those of you who follow my blog know that I made my son Baker Beach by the same company a few years ago. You can see that finished project here.

This is being made for my daughter and her husband, because you can't make something for one child and not give the other something similar. I owe her a quilt also.

I just recently started this project and my first session stitching on it resulted in this much being completed.....all black floss so far.
Yesterday, I spent some more time stitching and below is where I am as of today. Still all black.
Although it hardly looks like it, that was another 150+ stitches in the top left-hand corner.

Please follow the links below and visit the other bloggers who are part of this SAL:

I am also joining Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching. Pop on over to her site to see what other bloggers are stitching. I think I will try to add some color to Three Boats today.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 1, 2020

A new decade

No I am not talking about the 2020's. I am talking about the fact that I have entered the next decade of my life. I turned 60 this past week. Where has the time gone? Some days I feel my age, but other days I feel like I am still in my 30's. 

Hubby and I went out to dinner last weekend and I enjoyed one of my favorite cocktails....a French Martini.
My children came in to visit this weekend and we enjoyed another celebratory dinner at a favorite nearby restaurant....Thom Thom
As you can see, Hubby surprised me by inviting some friends to join us! What a fun time.

I received some wonderful gifts. Hubby found these gorgeous earrings!
My son and daughter coordinated to give me this game that I can't wait to try....
as well as this beautiful purse from Brynwood Needleworks
I follow this blog and love the one of a kind items in Donna's Etsy shop. 

My dear friends know me well and gave me wonderful gifts.
A new organizer tote with matching scissors for my yarn projects, a box where I can cross-stitch the lid (inside was a Joann's gift card) and a pretty bracelet with teal and purple stones....two of my favorite colors. 

I am truly blessed with wonderful family and friends.

Now that we have that momentous occasion out of the way. I did make some small progress on Jingle this week. I finished both of the holly leaves below the bird. 
I also started the green ribbon that will run along the bottom right corner.  

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 visiting with my family and trying out that game, but I just might add a few stitches to something.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, February 23, 2020


I have spent a wonderfully relaxing winter break off from my high school position. I got some great bargains shopping on President's day. I needed to toss some clothes that have holes and replace them. Unfortunately, my wonderful savings flew out the window when I hit a pothole on the way home from the mall and ruined a tire. The cost of a new tire was way more than my clothing savings.

I have been reading a book I found at the library that I am totally enjoying, The Forgotten Seamstress, by Liz Trenow. The reading is easy and the story line is fascinating. 

I made some progress on Jingle. I finished the bird and started on the holly below its feet. 

I had to frog the smallest holly immediately to the right of the bird's tail, because I realized it was a half stitch down. Thankfully it wasn't too difficult to remedy. I am enjoying working on this piece finally. I think it is because the motifs are a little closer together and easy to move from one to another.

I have also made a small dent in Three Boats. 

I was dismayed to realize that I would be starting with black to stitch the palm trees, but better to get that out of the way at the beginning and look forward to all of the gorgeous colors that await me. I have already stitched almost 200 stitches, but on 18 count the area is quite small.

My scarf is growing. It is currently around 50 inches long. 

I can stop whenever I want. I had thought I would just work until I finished the skein of yarn, but there is a lot left and I don't think I need a scarf that long. 

I made New England Cranberry Muffins from a new to me recipe that I have had hanging around for many, many years. 

They are quite tasty. I share the muffins I make with my mom and my MIL so that I don't eat them all myself. Hubby isn't big on muffins in general. I usually try one and put the rest in the freezer to bring to work for lunch with a yogurt every so often.

Yesterday, I made some more individual chicken pot pies for Hubby and I to eat after we teach at the local university. I get home earlier than he does, so I just unwrap the frozen pies and pop them in the oven. They are ready to eat when Hubby gets home. I also cooked a pot roast and divided it up into single serve dinners for my mom. I put them in her freezer and all she has to do is make a vegetable to go with them and maybe some noodles. 

It is back to work tomorrow, so I wanted to be sure everyone had enough nutritious food for the nights when I don't want to cook from scratch.

I am joining Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching. Pop on over to her site to see what other bloggers are stitching. I am hoping to add some stitches to Jingle today.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, February 16, 2020

First Finish of 2020

I finally finished crocheting my hat. 
I am quite pleased with the result. Now I am working on finishing the matching scarf.
I also finished reading True Blue by Luanne Rice. 
It took me a while to get into this book, not for any other reason, but that I just didn't have the time some days to pick it up. I am so glad that I stuck with it, because I really liked this book and will be looking to read some others by this author.

I put some stitches into "Jingle". The bird is now more than halfway done. 
I am off from school this coming week so I should have more progress to report next week.....unless I get sidetracked by other WIPs.

I also want do some clearance shopping while I am off. This is always a great time of year to snag some cold weather clothes to replace some that are wearing out. Of course I have scheduled dentist and eye doctor appointments this week too. I like not to have to use my sick days for these and we don't have any travel plans.
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 either Jingle or Three Boats. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, February 9, 2020


I just had to get started on "Three Boats". It has been calling to me. 
Yesterday, I sat down and put in all the grid lines that I will need for the first 3 pages and then I stitched a few stitches in the upper left corner. 
I am stitching this on 18-count Aida cloth to keep the overall size manageable, but I really prefer 14-count. This is going to be quite a long stitching journey. It has started.

Last weekend I finished the ribbon and leaves and started on the second crow of Jingle. Just the head is done.
 I will put some more stitches on the body today. I might even finish it, though probably not.

I have almost completed my crocheted hat too. 
It is 9 and 1/2 inches long and needs to be 10 inches before I stitch the border row. So close. I should be able to finish it very soon. I can't believe that it has taken me so long, but the arthritis in both my hands has been very limiting. Once the hat is done, I can go back to working on the scarf. 

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

Thanks for stopping by! 

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Slow Sunday Stitching

I added all the snow on the top of Jingle. If you click on the picture you can see the snowflake confetti. I really don't like stitching confetti so I just sat down and made myself do it.
I started working on the bottom half of Jingle yesterday. Yay! You can see the green ribbon on the right side of the picture under "Enter". 
I finally feel like I am making some progress on this piece. Now I am looking forward to working on it.
I have also added some rows to my hat. 
It is dark and rainy here today which probably explains why the color looks blue rather than lavender. I need to make it 10 inches long so that the bottom can be folded up. I have just about 8 inches completed.

My university job started again this past week. I am only teaching one class so it is somewhat more manageable. I made Individual Chicken Pot Pies last week that I froze. All I have to do is take them out of the freezer when I get home and pop them in the oven.

We have a late dinner, but at least it isn't take-out. Today I want to make some baked ziti and Swedish meatballs to put in the freezer for future dinners. 

I am joining Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching. Pop on over to her site to see what other bloggers are stitching. I will add a few more stitches to Jingle in between my cooking.

Thanks for stopping by!