Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Full and Fun

I didn't get to finishing 'Promise of Spring' into a framed picture yet. Last week was even busier than I thought it was going to be. My daughter and I had 3 (!!!) 4-H events - a 4-H Sunday/meeting, a Jr. Leaders meeting, and the county-wide 4-H Carnival event. Lots of errands, dd's first class of the semester and dd had 3 days of work. We went to the city (bigger town an hour away) to get taxes done and a second trip to sign on them. And finally, on Sunday Hubby and I went to Cirque du Soleil!! That was an amazing show. I've never been to see anything like that and was really impressed by the production. Hubby got free tickets through his work and we sat up in the box seats so we really got a birds eye view of the stage...
The whole stage was covered in tarps/fabric that they moved back and forth and projected scenes onto - very much like the opening ceremony of the Olympics. It could be dizzying if you were trying to walk and look at the stage at the same time...
Blurry picture, but you can see how dramatically the stage changed and most of this was projected. 
Hubby wasn't as impressed with the show, but this isn't really his thing anyway. He was happy that we got out together and had fun:)

I did get 'Promise of Spring' stitched and decided that since I got a WIP finished that I should start working on another WIP. So I looked through my pile and decided to work on Spring Snapperland from Bent Creek...
Hmm, this picture is blurry too. I'll try to get a better picture next time. I had the last two blocks done and most of what is done on the first already. I only worked on the house and roof since picking it up this time. So one more block after the one I'm working on and then the boarder. It should be a pretty quick project to finish up.

Tomorrow I will post my knitting updates:)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

I Need More Needles!!!

Like I need another hole in my head!! My resolve to finish up projects and only start new ones as I get others done has flown out the window, so to speak. I wanted something different to show off this week that was small and quick because I have been working on a large-ish cowl and a lap blanket for the past couple of weeks and they are becoming boring to show off and going so slowly, so I cast on a couple wash clothes. They are small, quick and brightly colored which is a big change from my previous projects...
Also, my daughter asked for another KitKat Hat (not politically motivated, she just really likes cats:).
This time she wanted one in brown and since I already had the yarn for it, I cast it on right away. THEN I went to the craft store, not for yarn, but you know I had to at least look and I found some really fun yarn that I think will look great with the Knit Night Hat. I was going to go ahead and cast that one on too, but I found out that the needles that I am using for the ribbing on my daughter's hat are the same needles I need for the beginning of this hat. Hmm, good thing I don't have a good yarn store close or I might have needed to get more needles too!!

On top of this, I am set to take part in a MKAL by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade that starts next week. I am all ready with needles and yarn, and while purchasing the yarn for that I decided that I like it for Celes wrap by Jared Flood too. I had started a couple years ago and then changed my mind on the yarn. AND I really want to re-cast on Project Peace (in which I will use the yarn I pulled out from Celes to use on this:).

I was doing so good, keeping myself from a huge 'Cast On ALLLLLL the pretty little things' party, but now, not so much. We will see how this plays out:) Besides, this is the fun part anyway!!!

Reading: I finally finished 'Rent Collector' by Camron Wright. It was pretty good, but really slow. The end was moving and I am happy I forced myself to finish it. I also listened to 'To Die For' by Alice Clark-Platts. It was a short story and very different from the other. It was kind of dark and not great, but a good change of pace. (Some cursing, a suicide, an attempted rape - just so you know before you 'read' it).  I am getting ready to start 'From Sand and Ash' by Amy Harmon and I really don't know anything about it. Hopefully it will be a good one:)

Linking with Ginny of 'Small Things' on her Yarn Along/Read Along blog hop and with Nicole of Frontier Dreams and her 'Keep Calm and Craft On' blog hop. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Weekend Stitching

I really caught the stitching bug this past weekend!! I just almost got a finish to show for it, but not quite, darn 4-H meeting got in the way:)

Actually, the total progress I have to show is a bit more than just from this weekend, but the progress from 'Promise of Spring' is mostly just from the last 4 days or so.
I am just about ready to start on the boarder section for 'Tis the Season' sewing bag from BBD and then I'll have to decide what to do about what will be the back side of the bag. The design has an alphabet with 'Merry Christmas and Happy New Year' at the end. I'm thinking I want this to be a reminder of my 'word for this year' which is 'Simplify' and maybe a quote using that word, but I haven't picked anything out yet.

I'm hoping to have 'Promise of Spring' from Silver Creek Samplers done by the end of the week and maybe frame it. This should be pretty easy to do as all I have left is the snow, a date stitched into the snow and a bit more greenery, but this is going to be a busy week too, so we shall see.

Saturday, January 21, 2017


Last night was the first Friday Night Sew-In of the year!! This sew-a-long is hosted by Wendy over at Sugarlane Designs. I will state right here, I'm not much of a sew-er. At least not with a sewing machine. I have lots and lots to learn, first off patience. ;-)  But I figure if I keep trying and working on it, I'll get better with time.

I had posted earlier this week that my hubby had gotten himself a food dehydrator for Christmas. He asked if I could make a simple cover for it to keep it from getting dust inside of it as it is sitting right next to our pellet stove/heater. So I bought a big piece of fake leather...
cut it up and sewed it together. This was a bit difficult as I didn't want to pin it together in order to avoid any extra holes in the material, but it came together okay. I'm not super happy with the corners, but I did get them better than my first attempt. Also I haven't put a back on this yet as I wasn't sure if my hubby wanted to cover where the cord comes out or not. He said to go ahead and make the back a bit shorter to keep from pinching the cord area, so I will work on that today.
Next I decided that I would try and finish the zipper pouches I started a couple months ago. But as I sat down to work on it, the next instruction seemed off. They said to place the zipper along the top edge of the exterior fabric, making sure the start and stop points were 1/4 on the inside of it. But my zipper is a 9 inch (I checked and that's what they called for) and my exterior bag dimensions were 8 1/2 inches (again I checked to make sure I made it correctly), leaving me with this...
This clearly hangs over by about 1/2 inch - and yes, I checked AGAIN to make sure my measurements were what the instructions said. Not having much experience with zippers, I didn't know if I could sew over the back side of the zipper (before the stop point) and only have it open so far, or if I needed to make a wider bag. I decided to try a wider bag.
I got the material all cut out and the interfacing cut and fused on before it was time to make dinner. I'll get back to it soon and hope that this solves my zipper problems. If you know what I could have done different, please let me know:)

I have some fabric I bought last month that I really want to play with for our next FNSI!! I can't wait to turn it into some more project bags:)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Yarn Along - Just Plugging Along

Linking up with Ginny at Small Things on her Yarn Along. This is where we share what yarn-y goodness we are up to along with discussing what we are reading. I'm afraid my posts here lately have been a bit of a repeat, but I am really trying to get more done on the projects I already have going before giving in to a new project. It's been a struggle, let me tell you. I already have 2-3 ideas in mind for what I want to cast on next. One is a small crochet project, so that would probably be okay to go ahead and start, right????

For this week I did manage to stick with what I have been working on for a while now....
Reading: No, this does not mean that I finished Rent Collector by Camron Wright. I am almost done with it. I don't know why it is taking me so much time to finish it. I guess it just isn't gripping enough to make me want to see what happens. I think it has more to do with the voice of the narrator than the story itself. But after I force myself to finish it I have 'To Die For' by Ralph Fiennes all lined up. It's a short story and a thriller. I hope the change of pace will get me back to 'reading'. 

Knitting: Still working on Tidal Sands Cowl from Anne Hanson. I am about 1/3 of the way done with this and you can really see the pattern in it now. I even have the 12 line repeat just about memorized at this point which makes it go a bit faster.

Crochet: And still working on the lap blanket. I'm also about 1/3 of the way done on this one. I was at 13 inches last week and just measured it this morning and am now at 22 inches. So it's coming along pretty quickly. It is taking SOOOO MUCH YARN though. I think I have 2 skeins left and every time I sit down to work on it I am going through a whole skein. Thinking it's time to get more yarn for it:) 

Question: My oldest cousin (she is 5 years younger than I am) just had her first baby and I am wanting to make something for them, but not sure what yet. I had bought a pattern to crochet an elephant as an elephant painting was the only decoration that I knew they had for her room - and her colors are pink, gray and turquoise so that seemed fitting. But I found out just about everyone picked up on the elephant theme - which wasn't the intended theme, she really wanted all kinds of animals - so, now I'm thinking that might not be the best idea. I'm guessing that an aunt made a blanket, so I don't want to do that either. Any ideas? A cute hat, another animal? Just not sure here, but I need to get it started soon. 

Anyway, I promise I'll at least have something new to show off for next week along with these two projects:) Off to see what everyone else has been up to. :) 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Or Maybe...

I'll post on Tuesday:) This weekend really could not have worked out better for me. We did get the ice that was predicted...
Our storage building/rabbit barn - was probably a one car garage at some point.
But not so much that we lost power. It was just enough to ice us in and make all the activities that we had planned (youth group, church, 4-H, daughters class, vet appointment) get cancelled. To me, that is a good weekend!! :)

So I had plenty of time to get my 'Finish It Friday' projects done, and I did...
Winter Snow by Heartstring Samplery was a Ladies Prim Society club piece that I stitched a couple weeks before Christmas. Crown the Tree by Blackbird Designs is one I apparently stitched back in 2012, though it doesn't seem like it was nearly that long ago. They will both make great additions to my tree for next year.

While I made good progress on these projects and also on other knitting and stitching projects I'm working on, I didn't get back on the computer all weekend. Why? Well, I always forget that my hubby likes to stay busy:) And this weekend was the first time he got a chance to play with his new 'toy' that he bought for Christmas. He got himself a dehydrator...
On Sunday he decided he wanted to set it up and get it going. However we didn't have anywhere to put it. Not only did we not have a place to store it (the box had been setting on the couch for over a week), there wasn't anywhere to put it while it was running - for upwards of 7-10 hours at a time, that had a good plug in available. *This house was built in 1920 with power not coming to the area until around 1945~ish. Most of the electrical in this house is still from that time. We have done some improvements to the electrical system, new lines from the poles to the breaker box, a few new lines run to good outlets that can handle heavier loads, etc. The older outlets can handle a normal load, but we only trust a couple of them for things like electronics, a/c, and such.*

He decided that there was just enough room between the fridge and pellet heater to put it if he built a table and moved the fridge over a couple inches. If this is starting to sound like a 'IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE' story, then well, welcome to my life!! :) But by the end of Sunday we had a table, a newly cleaned off fridge, a floor that was vacuumed in areas that we haven't seen since we moved here, and a dehydrator that was ready for use.

And on Monday - he had the day off - we got busy slicing and drying apples and bananas...
They turned out really good!!

So we had a productive long weekend and didn't even have to leave the house:) Perfect!!

What did you do this weekend?

Friday, January 13, 2017


I used to have a section on my old blog that was titled FINISH IT Friday where I showed off my 'FINISHED' finishes. That means that not only had I finished the stitching, but I had also sewn it into something useful:) I have piles of stitching projects that are all stitched up...
I have many, many more than just these!! :) 
but I've never done anything with them and now they sit in a cabinet where no one can see them. I plan to remedy that problem by choosing one Friday a month to work on FINISHES!!!

Last week I took my sewing machine in to get some TLC and fix the bobbin winder. My machine is a Bernina 830 Record, I am guessing a late 1970's model, though I haven't done much research on it. It was my husband's grandmother's machine that was given to me when she passed away. She was a seamstress and sewed lots and lots so she bought many gadgets for the machine...
And look at these variegated threads on wooden spools!!
Okay, the point of this post wasn't my sewing machine, but my finished pieces. What I was trying to get at was that I didn't have my machine available to me until yesterday, so I'm going to focus on a couple of projects I can sew up by hand. I started earlier today by cutting these out and getting the interfacing ironed on...
But then I needed to go to town and get a few things before the supposed "ICE STORM" gets here:) Hopefully it won't be as bad as they are predicting because I really don't want to lose power!! We are prepared for if we do, but it's never fun. So the rest of my evening will consist of watching a movie with my hubby and sewing these pretties up:) I will give an update later this weekend, or Monday depending on if we have internet when this is all over.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Yarn Along - With a Finish!!!

Linking back up with Ginny at Small Things on her Yarn Along. I do have a finish, but otherwise it's going to look a bit like a repeat from last week. Here's what I've been working on...
Reading- I'm still working on Rent Collector by Camron Wright. Actually I just haven't turned it back on since last week. Going to remedy that this week and get it all finished up:) 

Knitting - I finally finished my Sockhead Slouch Hat and while I am not a great model for hats - my best feature is my hair, though I almost always wear it up, but I look a bit silly with it covered up with a hat:) That's okay though because my goal was to make a hat that I can wear with my hair up and that will keep me warm, and this hat works perfectly - plus I LOVE how the striping turned out!!! The yarn is Patons Kroy Sock yarn in colorway Blue Brown Marl. 

I am also working on Tidal Sands Cowl and got a couple more inches done on it. I am finally further on it than I have been during either of the last 2 attempts I've made:)

Crocheting - I am still working on my lap blanket. I've made some progress and have a little more than a foot of height to it now. Planning on it being 48in wide, 60in in length.

Since I have a finish it's time to go into my Ravelry account and see what I can find to knit up next:) That just might be my favorite part!! 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Stitching Fun

I almost always have multiple projects going at once, and right now is no exception. Not only do I have a couple knitting and a crochet projects going but I have a couple stitching projects going on as well. Here is what I've been working on..
Kitten Mitten - This is a current freebie that can be found on Cross Eye'd Cricket's site. Super cute and easy pattern!! And since I stitched it on 18 ct Aida fabric with DMC floss, it gives my aging tired eyes a break!! :) I'm hoping to do several of these and trying to finish them as mitten ornaments for my Christmas tree. My plan is to finish them into the shape of a mitten.
Tis The Season bag (on the right) - This one is by Blackbird Designs and was the last of 2016's Prim Ladies Society club kits. I'm really into project bags right now and couldn't wait to start this one!! The design has an alphabet and 'Merry Christmas/Happy New Year' on the back of the bag. I haven't decided if I'm going to stitch that or come up with another saying for the back yet. Love playing around with a design!! :)

On the left is 'Promise Of Spring' by Silver Creek Samplers. This was my January 1st start from last year and I still really love it, so I thought I'd pull it out and see if I can't get it done before Spring this year:) And the message couldn't be more perfect right now. We aren't in the middle of the winter mess that is going on in some parts of the country, but we did get a bit of snow this week...
And I am SOOO ready for spring. On the plus side, the cold does make for some good stitching/knitting weather:)

What are you stitching on right now? Any New Year goals/challenges/SALs that you are working on?

Friday, January 6, 2017

Taking Stock and Making Plans

2016...what can I say. It seems like it was an overall crappy year for so many. We were not spared from our dose of crappy either, but there were some really good things as well.

~We lost my father in law in March. That really is what blanketed our entire year. It still affects us and always will, not only because we lost such a great man, our daughter's rock, possibly my husbands best friend, but also because this means that my mother in law needs extra help. However, through all this, my hubby and I also got a lot closer, our relationship really has never been better and I am so thankful for that.

~This year had both my hubby and I needing minor surgeries, but both turned out well with no foreseeable ongoing problems (I will probably need thyroid meds in the future, but with my families med history, I probably would have anyway).

~Our dog is really getting up there in years. I thought she was turning 14 this year, but after finding her original paperwork I realized she will be turning 16 in March. She is slowing down and we thought we were going to have to put her down just before Christmas. The vet decided to try a chiropractic adjustment and acupuncture along with different pain pills. This seems to have helped and we are so very thankful to still have her with us. We will continue this treatment as long as it keeps working for her.

~The election - I won't go into details of my political views as that is not what my blog is about, just to say that they don't fit in with either side 100%. I wouldn't have been happy either way, so I felt there was no win, but I really was shocked that it turned out the way it did (as in having to read the reports 4-5 times, sitting down with my mouth open:/). I really don't know what to expect and so I won't speculate. My hope is that it won't be as drastic as some fear, and that some good comes out of it (whatever that might be). We will see...

As for 2017...This will be a year of transition and big milestones.

~Our daughter got her full drivers licence a couple days ago. This is pretty huge for me as it will drastically cut down on how much I need to leave the house. She will also be turning 18 this year, graduating high school and starting some college classes!! No for-sure plans on the future, just taking it slow.

~My hubby and I will be celebrating our 20th anniversary in April!!

~I will be turning 40 and will be needing to find a job at some point.

I've decided not to make a big New Year's Resolution, but instead make a few small goals for the year that I think will benefit our little family. Things like visiting extended family a bit more, writing to those that are further away, possibly a family vacation to celebrate dd's graduation/birthday. Things like that. I am working on a list, because I'm a list person:), but I'm not wanting this to be a 'HAVE TO DO THESE THINGS' stressful kind of list. This is more of a 'follow your heart/do what feels like needs doing kind of thing. More of a building relationships/clearing clutter/making things feel lighter and easier kind of list.

As for my crafting, I think for now I will just go with the flow. No big plans at this point, I didn't even join in any 'challenges' or new SALs :0) I'm sure that will change, but for now I think a quiet entry into the new year is in order. Don't get me wrong, I have lots of projects on the needles/hooks/hoops/waiting for the sewing machine, and I am actively working on them, I just am not ready to put any kind of deadlines on my projects. Just for pure pleasure right now:)

Many wishes for a quiet, easy entry into this New Year for you as well. :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Yarn Along

After a couple week's break, I'm going to join in again with Ginny at Small Things on her Yarn Along. Here's what I've been up to..
Reading - You *might* have a hard time telling what the book I'm listening to is:) I couldn't get the picture to show up - I think the screen was too bright in the semi dark room. It is 'The Rent Collector' by Camron Wright. I've just got started on it, but so far, so good.

Crocheting - I'm slowly making progress on my lab blanket. It's getting too big to take anywhere to work on, but I'm doing a little work on it here and there at home. No pattern for this one, just a basic bobble stitch.

Knitting - Sockhead Slouch Hat - this is really coming along. I'm just a few rows from starting the decreases. Should have this one done by next week.

Tidal Sands Cowl - this one is proving to be never ending. I made another mistake, I dropped a stitch in the middle of a lace repeat and couldn't figure out how to fix it. After ripping the whole thing out I decided that I wanted to do the longest option for this pattern anyway, so I guess it's okay:) I'm just about back to where I was when I ripped it out. 

Going to see what everyone else is working on:) 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Final '12 Projects of Christmas'

Sorry for the lateness of this post, we have both the stomach bug and the upper respiratory crud going on in my household (thankfully I haven't caught either - how long do you supose that will last? 😷). I've been busy cleaning, sterilizing and trying to only breath in non-infected air!! :) 

 As expected, I got a few of the projects completed, made some progress on others and a couple didn't get any attention at all. *Here* is what I had done before Christmas and below is what I've accomplished since.
This was the mess of stitching projects I had going the week before Christmas. Do you see the paper chart, yeah - that was one I hadn't even started but...
'She Feeds Them Well' by The Scarlett House was #11 on my list and I got done and framed in time to give to my mother in law. It was my first time framing my stitching and I think it turned out really good.

Stitch/Finish Ornaments was #8 on my list. I started and finished the stocking (the name of which escapes me - I'll update once I can get to the magazine it is in. I know it's by Blackbird Designs and that it is in one of the Just Cross Stitch Ornament issues.) This was a last min gift idea that my daughter gave to her boss's family. The Santa was one I stitched up the year before, but never finished it into an ornament. This one was a gift to my sister in law. I didn't finish the other stocking from the first photo yet.

Knitting/Crocheting pictures will be updated tomorrow for the Yarn Along, but here is a rundown on what did/didn't get done...

#1. Crochet Stars - Didn't even touch these. But I do still have them out so *maybe* I will still work on them as a quick project?
#2. Project Peace - Well, I was coming along on this, not that I was keeping up with it, but it was starting to look pretty good. Then I realized that I had the cowl twisted. I really did check my work and I thought it was good, but I must of missed it, and then in a fit of frustration (or resignation), I ripped it out. Now that I'm thinking of it more clearly I'm not sure I needed to rip it out. It wouldn't have interferred with the knitting of it and as it is a longish cowl and I will be wrapping it around me twice, you really never would have noticed it. Oh, well. I will start again soon. 
#3. Make hat for me - I am almost done with this getting ready to start the decreases - updated photo in tomorrow's post. 
#5. Make Cowl for me. Take what I wrote in #2 and repeat that:/ Well, not exactly. This happened right before the Project Peace problem. I didn't twist it, but did drop a stitch right in the middle of a lace section. I could not for the life of me figure out how to fix it, not even good enough to blend in, so I ripped it out. When I started this project I bought enough yarn to make the longest length, but then decided to knit the medium length. Now I'm back to really wanting it long (it got really cold here!!), so I guess it's not the end of the world that I'm starting it again.
#6. Crochet Lap Blanket - this is slowly coming along. It's getting too big to take with me to places so I'm only able to work on it at home. Hope to get this one done this winter.

Other projects...
#7 'JOY' Decor... I like how this turned out but it isn't a professional job. I think it would have turned out better if I had used fabric. You can't see it very well in this picture, but some of the edges aren't covered very well. You really can't tell unless you look closely so I don't think it'll matter any, I'll keep it the way it is and call it good:) 

#12. Wall Decor - this one didn't get touched and that doesn't surprise me at all. I had wanted hubby to make a wall hanging that had a basket, hooks and some kind of way to attach a stitched piece to it so I could change it out with the seasons. This is still high on my priority list of honey-dos, but as we ran out of 'play' money and then he was feeling puny the last half of break, it just didn't get done...yet!! 

So only 2 projects didn't get touched, and two went backwards, the rest either got done or make good progress. I say that is a win!! 

I'm going to take a break on challenges/bucket lists for the winter. So no new list for now, maybe I'll do it again for Spring:)