Tuesday, March 31, 2015

End of Month Wrap Up

Just getting my monthly wrap-up in at the last few min of this month! It has been a weird month with the surprise surgery and a bit more busy than normal for March. It was nothing like April will be, that is our 'Super Duper Busy, Yes, Please EVERYONE, Schedule More Activities This Month' month. But it will come to an end as well and we will have good memories from all the birthdays, Easter, Formal and other normal things as well.

It does feel like I was able to get a bit more handiwork done this month though. The extra down time helped with that. This is some of what I worked on...

The first two are from my Tree Bird Blog Hop post, and the last was my new start for March. I'm about 1/2 done with the Noel Stocking from Blackbird Designs.

I had two projects I was working on this month. The Southbay Shawl is almost done. Actually it is bigger than the pattern says to make it, but I wanted it bigger. I was hoping that the round I finished today would be the end of it, but I'm thinking it needs two more rounds. I don't think I'm going to put the edging on it, just leave it with a scalloped edge. I will do sc along the bottom edge though. And the baby blanket is coming along. The soft colors didn't show up well next to the dark blue of the shawl. I really can't see this being anything other than a boy blanket, so I'm really hoping dh's friends have a boy!! :)

I started the dish cloths as my new March projects and they BOTH GOT DONE!! I even used one to do dishes tonight:) And I am finally at 50% on the Guernsey Wrap!! So I'm pretty happy with my knitting progress:)
Tomorrow starts a new month and that means new projects!!! I will have a post up tomorrow to show off what I will be working on in April.

Monday, March 23, 2015

March 2015 IHSW

IHSW is hosted by Joysze From Random Ramblings. It seems like I've done a lot of 'hermiting' the past couple weeks, but last week I was actually gone more than I would have liked. This week won't be so bad though. For some reason dd has less going on the last week of the month than any other. It'll be good not to be running around so much:)
This weekend I focused on the Noel Stocking from BBD that was the last project sent out to the members of the Ladies Prim Society last year. Here is a picture of what it will look like...
 And where I am with it right now..
Before this weekend all I had done was the bird, so I didn't take a 'before' photo. I was worried that this piece would be too pink for my liking as I'm not generally a 'pink person' anyway, but even more so for Christmas as I tend to stick to traditional colors for that. So I made one change to the colors, the darker red/pink I have used was much more on the pinkish side in the kit, I did leave the lighter pink as it helps to contrast, and I am finding that I am liking how it is turning out. The stem looks almost black in this photo, it is actually dark brown irl.
I am super happy with the progress I have been making with my stitching, this project, but also a couple others I have going as well. When I started knitting, and then crocheting again, my stitching really slowed down. Of course there are only so many hours in the day, and unfortunately, even for a 'stay-at-home' momma like me, not nearly enough of those hours can be spent doing my crafts!! But the bug for stitching has outweighed the knitting or crocheting bug here lately, so stitching progress is winning right now:)
Now I'm off to see other's progress!! :) Have a great day!!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Two Weeks

(For those of you looking for my FNSI post: I'm so sorry, I signed up to do it, but didn't get to it this month.)

For those of you who follow my blog, you may have noticed that I went quite for about a week and a half. No Turtle Trot post, no Yota post. That's because I ended up in the hospital two weeks ago today.

I woke up feeling pretty good, but after about a half hour I started getting pains in my lower left abdomen. I have had this happen before and I was pretty upset as it can get to really hurting. Last summer it lasted nearly two weeks and kept me from helping out with our 4-H county fair. I went to the Dr. then (after hurting for nearly a week), I was given pain meds and was told I would need a CT scan to confirm it, but the Dr. was very sure it was a kidney stone. We waited for the insurance to approve the CT scan and by the time they did, the pain was going away. Since the Dr. was sure it was a kidney stone, and it was getting better, we didn't go through with the CT scan. We would have had to pay for part of it, and it seemed silly to do at that point. The Dr. did give me a few things to avoid to help not have another one, but said it was very possible I would.

Well, the very first part of January of this year I woke hurting again. We had just changed our insurance and I was really hoping, since I still had most of the pain meds from before, to avoid a Dr. appointment if at all possible. This time the pain was a little lower and much worse. But the pain meds helped and the pain only lasted the one day. I was starting to think that it wasn't kidney stones, but again, the pain was now gone so I left it alone.

Two weeks ago, when it started up I was SOOO hoping that the pain would just last the day, but this time it was so bad that I was crying (and maybe yelling a little:), and throwing up. After about 5 hours of this, and the pain meds not helping at all (and being convinced that this was not kidney stones, but perhaps something wrong with my left ovary instead), I told my husband that I had to go to the ER.

I got there and all I could say was that I was in pain, where the pain was and that I was in pain!! The receptionist had my hubby give the rest of the details;) They set me all up and after crying and throwing up some more they gave me morphine. It didn't help at all!! The whole reason I wanted to go to the ER is so they could make the pain go away!! Or make it bearable, and I really am a person who will suffer through a headache or cramps just so I don't have to take even Tylenol. I don't like to take meds if I can help it, but in this case I wanted anything they would give me. Later they gave me two different pain meds, one they said was 5x stronger than morphine, and it did make things much better, but it never took it all away.

The Dr. I saw in the ER was sure it was kidney stones, but we didn't wait on the CT scan this time and it turns out that it was a large cyst on my left ovary, not kidney stones!! Apparently it was twisting inside of me causing much pain and after a few more tests they decided to keep me overnight and do surgery the next morning. Thankfully this was a pretty simple, straight forward surgery, and I was able to go home the day of surgery. Of course, no surgery is pain free, but it has been nothing like the pain I went into the ER with. Now, nearly two weeks after, I am back up and doing all my normal activities. Not quite ready for the gym yet, but otherwise doing good. I'm so thankful that my hubby was able to take a couple days off work, followed by my mom taking a couple off and my dd being here the whole time to help out. By last weekend I was helping around the house, but only for 20 min here and there, so hubby and dd really did a lot of the cooking and housework for a while. -And as a side note, when hubby, my dd and my mom all join in to take care of me and the house, the house ends up much cleaner than normal. Of course this leads hubby to ask for the house to stay this clean. I have kept up with it this week, but we will see how long this lasts!!

So now I am without pain (unless I bend over, that is still just a bit sore), without a large cyst (and left ovary which couldn't be saved), and I gained giant medical bills!! All in a hard weekend's work!! If I knew we would spend so much I wish we could have taken a really nice vacation!! :)

I do want to know WHY, OH, WHY, do Drs think that the belly buttons is a good place to make an incision?!?!?!? I know some will say to minimize scaring. But I am about 90lbs over weight. The Dr SAW my belly and I am sure understands that I will not be showing it off in public any time soon (and if I did people would not be saying 'oh, look, she has a scar on her belly', they'd be saying, 'Please put a shirt on!!!'), besides, the Dr made two other 1 inch incisions on my stomach, so what's wrong with a 3rd? Really, even if it had to be bigger I think it would have been less painful!! The other two are healing up well, but the warm, dark abyss that is my belly button just seems like a nice place to get an infection. So far that hasn't happened, but that one is definitely healing a lot slower.

Anyway, now that I got my 'story' out of my system, I will go back to my normal crafty posts. One thing all this healing time has given me is some time to stitch and knit and crochet, so it's not all so bad!! :)

Friday, March 20, 2015

Stitcher's Meet and Greet Blog Hop

Thank you once again to Madam Samm from Sew We Stitch for hosting another fun blog hop. This time I didn't even have to finish stitching or sewing anything to play along. I have lots and lots of past projects to show off... 
See? I came by learning to cross stitch during my freshman year in high school. I took sewing class and as one of our projects we had to learn some kind of hand stitching. Cross stitch was the most popular in my class so I did it, and really have been ever since.
Of course over the years I've learned lots more about cross stitch than what I learned in school, and over the years the craft has changed a bit as well, growing in popularity and there-for giving lots more options for creativity. There are so many sizes and colors of fabric and floss to choose from now, which is lots of fun!! As you can see from above I do tend to stick with tan/brown/neutral colors most of the time and the smaller the weave the better!! I am mostly partial to 36-40 count linen or evenweave, but I will stitch on practically any count.  
I tend to have lots of projects going at any time and for a few years I participated in challenges that had you starting a new project every day for the first 15 days of the year. That was a lot of fun, but got a bit overwhelming to me. I also tend to do the stitching, but then don't do anything with the end product:) I just enjoy the process, but I'm trying to get better at doing the finishes. Here is a pic of one of the only projects that ever got framed...
As a birthday present my sister-in-law got this framed for me. This is Autumn Snapperland from Bent Creek. Eventually I will get the other seasons done in this series.

Speaking of my sister-in-law, she is a cross stitch designer!! Marianne Meyer of Midnight Stitching is my sister-in-law, which makes for fun get-togethers, really fun shopping trips and lots of fun stitching for each other at Christmas:)
I do a lot of stitching as gifts or exchanges and some for myself as well, but I have also done some stitching for a charity called LoveQuiltsUSA (they have chapters in a few other countries as well). This organization collects stitched panels and makes them into themed quilts for children with various illnesses and disabilities. Here are a couple I have done for them...
The top one was for a little boy who wanted anything with blue in it. Of course the bottom one isn't hard to figure out:) Also for a boy who loved anything fast!! These are a lot of fun to stitch and it's so nice to see the final finished quilt with your well loved project going to a child who needs a little extra love. 

Hopefully I have given some inspiration into what is my favorite craft (followed closely by knitting and crocheting:). Please visit all of the bloggers participating in this blog hop:

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Tree Bird Hop

Madam Samm from Sew We Quilt is hosting the Tree Bird Blog Hop along with Lana at It Seems to Be Sew cheering us along!! Thank you so much ladies for such a fun blog hop!!!

It took me a little while to decide what to do for this hop. There was a line of fabric that was especially for this hop, but I wasn't able to get it this time. So I needed to come up with a different plan. I have decided that I really just don't like to quilt, sewing is okay and I love to stitch, but I have just lost the interest in quilting, at least for now. Hopefully that will come back in time.

Since the theme was birds, I knew that anything I did would likely be a gift for my mother-in-law. She loves birds, loves to attract them to her yard, and to watch them. I had wanted to get her a hand-towel for Christmas last year that I saw, but when I went to buy it, it was gone. So that's where I started. I bought some flour sack type hand towels to stitch on. I measured the cloth count and it looked to be about 38 ct. But once I started stitching the boarder for the birds it turned out like this...

Can you see how this doesn't work? :) A little too wonky. Okay, so the next plan was to find some hand towels that were meant to be stitched on and that worked much better...
My plan was to stitch one on each side, but life happened. A little over a week ago I ended up in the ER with severe pain. It ended with a minor surgery that really slowed things up for me. More about that in another post.  

So at some point before Christmas this little birdy will have a friend to keep her company. I also decided that I wanted to make a couple cloth birds that could be used as Christmas ornaments for my mil as well. I didn't end up getting to that until this week, so only one of them got done, but it turned out so cute..
The pattern for this bird, and many, many others can be found at www.downeastthunderfarm.com. I am hoping to get a few more of these done before Christmas. Maybe a couple for my tree as well:)

Despite the sickness that set me back a bit, I really had fun putting my little birdies together for this hop and hope you take some time to visit some of the others blogging in the Tree Bird Blog Hop.

The other, very talented bloggers who are part of todays hop are...


Monday, March 2, 2015

March New Starts

I didn't post a monthly wrap up for February this weekend. Mostly because of my desire to stay off the computer and just have some quiet time, but also because I didn't feel like I really got much done last month. I'm hoping for a more productive March - at least in the creative realm. :)

Here are some of my new starts for March...

The last Ladies Prim Society  piece from last year. This is Noel from Black Bird Designs. I changed one of the colors because the 'red' looked too pink to me. I'm going to use the hand dyed floss that I got in last year's 12 Days of Christmas Swap.

I got a bit of a start on the next Gail Pan project I'm going to work on. This is from her book 'Patchwork Loves Embroidery' and will be one of the four boarders to a table top quilt.
 I'm super excited to get started on this baby blanket for a friend of my hubs. I'm doing a ripple blanket in these three colors. I've gotten the first 3 rows done already and started on the fourth by changing to the gray yarn, but it's not going to work. As you may be able to tell, the gray is a different brand because Hushabye Baby Bee doesn't have a gray, and even though they are both worsted weight, the gray is much lighter of a yarn. So I've googled this problem and have come up with a probable solution, another brand is a 95% match to the Hushabye. I'm hoping we have it local, but if not I'll get it ordered soon. I have until end of May for this one, but I really want to work on it:)

I'm still working away at the Guernsey Wrap, but it is starting to get boring, so I decided to start something new, but small. I'm just going to work on some dish clothes for myself. And yes, I had one about 1/3 of the way done in that coral/blue/brown/white yarn, but had a mistake and ended up ripping it all out:( So this will be considered a new start since I have to start over. :0)
I'm also participating in a Blog Hop this month. At the right side of my blog you will see a button to the Tree Bird Blog Hop hosted by Madam Samm at Sew We Quilt (or Sew We Stitch). It's going to be lots of fun with a bit of stitching and sewing involved!!
And I'll have a small piece for the Smalls Sal later this month - this time I it'll be for a block exchange with some stitchy friends!!
So many creative projects going on this month. And lots of activities for dd too, so I better get moving if I want to get anything done!! :)