Saturday, November 21, 2015

a plethora of things . . .

Happy weekend!!  I finally took my birthday hours on Thursday and we are closed on Fridays, so I'm enjoying a lovely four day weekend. I'll go back to work for two days before we shut down for Thanksgiving and a lovely five day weekend (for which I'm truly grateful)! I've had some good stitching time (as you might imagine)!  First off, I finished off the three snow buddies hanger . . .
It turned out so cutely!  I'm really pleased with it.  And even more pleased that out of the seven projects I had, I'm finished with four!  So next up I'll be working on this guy . . . 
My instructions?  This picture . . .
It's pretty self-explanatory, so  I shouldn't get too hung up!  It'll keep me busy on my slow stitching Sunday.  :)

I've been playing in fabric, too!  REALLY!  One crafty fabic project and one quilty fabric project . . . both gifts, so I can't show any of the quilt and all I can show of the craft project is this tidbit . . .
It looks fun, right?? Between the two of them and the 1/8th of a yard I used for my NOEL project:
[Which isn't finished (I needed "an ingredient" to finish it up that I can't pick up until Monday), but at least I know where it's going!] I've made a tidy little dent in my fabric stash this week!
Yay!!  I'd like to finish one more project before mid-month, so hopefully there will be an even bigger 'little dent'!

Last weekend Joc and her crew took their annual family trek to the Botanical Garden's Galaxy of Lights walking tour. As always, they finished up with a visit to see Santa Claus. These photos, through the years, have been a wonderful laugh and this year was no exception (and Ellie has proven consistent through all her four visits):
Ellie, 2012
Ellie (with Sawyer), 2013
Ellie (with Evey--and held by Jocelyn), 2014
Evey and Ellie, 2015

Are they not just priceless??  The Santa (who's the same all four years) simply makes the 2015 photo. Oh gracious, I just love them!

In preparation for our church's annual Thanksgiving fellowship tomorrow, I made an apple pie, crust and all . . .
It smells so good, it's all I can do to stay out of it tonight! It's a dry run through for Thanksgiving -- I'll do this all over again (and then some) on Wednesday!

I'll be linking up to Patchwork Times and Kathy's Quilts.  But before I go, I wanted to share one more thing.  I'll be starting this marvelous Bible study on Monday called Quieting Your Heart for the Holidays.  It's being hosted by Darlene Schacht of Time Warp Wife, and it promises to be wonderful.
I know I can't be the only one who struggles with keeping balance between the craziness that can come at this time of the year, wanting things to be just so, with remembering and celebrating what truly is the reason for celebration to begin with. It's a free study (with the exception of the prayer journal, which I purchased, and isn't required for the study) on her site and she provides lots of pretty freebies to make it fun.

And on that note, I'm outta here . . . I've got stitching to do before it gets crazy up in here!!


Saturday, November 14, 2015

stitch, stitching, stitchery . . .

I've been enjoying a lot of evening stitching this past week.  Since we changed our work hours to 7:00 to 5:00, I've had a little extra time after dinner to hangout and work on a project.  I'm loving it! This week, after making some good progress on the tree, I decided to take a bit of a break and work in wool . . .
I finished up this darling little "Snowbuddies" pillow.  It was a pretty easy, two-night project.

Then I pulled the NOEL stitchery back out and finished it up . . . 
I love the yellow stars and the metallic red french knots! And I'm very pleased with the clarity of the "NOEL".  It did pretty much finish out like I visualized it, which is always a good thing! I still haven't quite figured out how to frame it/finish it out. I've got time. I do know where I want to hang it though, when the time comes!!

Now I'm working on another "Snowbuddies" project . . .
I adore this one!  I finished up one snow guy . . . I've got two more to go.  Guess this is where I'll be spending my slow Sunday stitching!

My stash report hasn't changed.  Rather, my stash has changed, but I have no idea by how much and I'm not really ready to chat about it.  LOL!  Sounds enigmatic, right?  Maybe I'll 'splain next week. Until then, here's another 'nothing in, nothing out' report:
Five more stash reports until Christmas!  Six more until the end of the year! Whoa!!  I'm pleased with my stash intake, even though I wish I'd had a LOT more usage.  What about you?  Pleased with your 'near-the-end-of-the-year' totals?!

I'll be linking up with Patchwork Times and Kathy's Quilts.  Enjoy the rest of the weekend!!


Monday, November 09, 2015

a stitch in time . . .

I haven't done a design wall Monday post in FORever, but I made such great progress on my Noel doodle tree yesterday, I didn't want to not post a pic!
I back stitched all the silver and then whipped stitched those stitches to (1) make it stand out nicely and (2) to help hide my pattern lines.  I love the look!
With the green, I'm either stem stitching or outline stitching, depending on which side of the letter/curves of the letters I'm working on.  Yes.  I use the two stitches interchangeably, depending on my need.  Don't tell the embroidery police on me. Ha!  Now that I'm seeing the word stitched in part, I think the NOEL will stand out quite nicely.  

My big problem (and where the design wall comes in) is what to do with this little stitchery once I've finished it.  I worked a red and green patchwork frame for a stitchery design I sketched out last week (based on the same design I used for my November cornucopia piece, last year) . . .
Here's the stitchery colored . . .
I'll probably raw edge applique the words and stitch the heart, manger scene, star and holly.  And gosh, the patchwork frame works rather perfectly for that, so I hate to use it for the doodle tree.  Plus I don't think it's the right shape.

Which brings me back to, "What do I do with it?!"  Hmmmmm....I may have an idea.  Just maybe. Just. Maybe.  Linking up to Patchwork Times.

Have a GREAT week!


Saturday, November 07, 2015

things november . . .

It's been a dreary, damp, chilly day . . . the kind of day that makes for the perfect backdrop for inside chores and projects!  I finally got around to pulling the few jack-o-lantern and candy corn pieces I had out and replaced them with more seasonally appropriate pieces . . .
Oh, and I baked my first apple pie of the season, too.  It was *quite* yummy -- and hopefully will continue to be for the next several days.  I love apple pie for breakfast -- especially with a slice of melted cheddar cheese on it!  It's my Yankee roots.  :)

Earlier in the week I finished my little pumpkin stitchery.
It's very sweet -- I really enjoyed stitching that particular pumpkin pattern and may stitch it again. But I'm tired of stitching, crafting, and baking pumpkins (I can't believe I just typed that!!!!) for the time being, so my goal was to find something more Christmassy to work on.  I rooted around in the RV's basement space (after going through every storage tub and drawer in the Nook) and finally found the jackpot of wool projects in various stages of completion . . .
Mostly wool, anyway - the project on the far left is a reindeer dish towel.  The rest are wool snowmen!  Yessssss.  I'll be working on several of these over the next few weeks.  I've had 'em for ages (seriously -- since 2007) and it's time to get 'em finished!

But that's not what I'll be working on for my slow Sunday stitching . . . instead, I'll be working on a little stitchery of a doodled Christmas tree I saw on pinterest . . .
But instead of the solid, bold lines making up the right side of the tree, I wanted to put the word, "NOEL".  Not in your face, but a subtle gliding word down the side.
I think I've got it!  I'm stitching the 'doodles' in silver and will stitch "NOEL" in a bright metallic green.  I'm not sure about the stars, but I'm thinking gold.  Or a satin stitched yellow.  And the dots will be in red.  
I'm not sure how I'm going to use it, in fact, I'm not sure that it will finish out on fabric like I saw it in my head. But I wanted to stitch a little Christmas whimsy, and this seemed to fit the bill! Plus something about working with things that sparkle just makes my heart happy. 

My stash report remains unchanged.  Again.  For real.
What can I say?  I'm evening actually thinking of clearing out some of my stash.  I need to do SOMETHING with what I've got sitting there.  Seriously.  It's not stitching itself together.  Where are the cobbler's elves when you need them??!

Linking up to Patchwork Times and Kathy's Quilts!  Enjoy the remainder of the weekend -- you know what I'll be doing!


Saturday, October 31, 2015

day is done . . .

Can you believe it?  The last day of October, already!!  October 31 marks the end of pumpkin month, but more importantly, it's All Hallow's Eve . . . and even MORE importantly, it's the birthday of one June Madelyn!!
Today she celebrated the big THREE!!  Sweet baby girl.  We had a fun time celebrating her birthday this morning!
I love those last two with the girls and their babies in the strollers.  Aren't they precious?!?

My stash report again remains unchanged . . .
Zippo in and zappo out! Week 44 . . . that means there are only EIGHT weeks to 2016.  What in the world?!?  

But that doesn't mean I haven't been busy!  I have one more pumpkin project up my sleeve.  A sweet little embroidery project I found on Martha Pullen's website.  She shares full blown instructions for creating a darling, lace-trimmed hand towel with a pumpkin stitchery . . .
Photo Credits:  Martha Pullen Company
Darling, non?  Of course, I wanted to use materials I had on hand, and that included neither the appropriate towel or lace.  So I settled for a pretty, autumn colored striped towel.  First thing I did was get the pumpkin template transfered to my towel:
For this project, I used my Aunt Martha's red transfer pencil and traced the template. A quick press with a hot iron and my design is boo-yoootiful!
I haven't finished this one, but I'm thinking this will make a nice little hostess gift for Thanksgiving dinner (which is being hosted by Jocelyn).  
After all, pumpkins work nicely through the end of November, right?!?  Plus, this will make for a fun day's slow stitching!

Okay, so that's it for me.  If  you're still up, don't forget you've got an extra hour to stitch tomorrow . . .  
Daylight savings time ends at 2:oo a.m.!!

Linking up to Patchwork Times and Kathy's Quilts.  Adios October!  Greetings, November!! Happy Sunday!!!


Sunday, October 25, 2015

stuffed pumpkin history . . .

Literally *and* figuratively!  I figured I'd done quite a number of crafty things featuring pumpkins to date, perhaps it was time to do a little baking/cooking.  So I did . . . not just one thing, but four!  Aren't we all lucky?!

First, I did a little research on the pumpkin.  Pumpkin pie is generally a favorite of mine, and one of my favorite Thanksgiving treats!  But seeing as how pie crust was not around during pre-colonial days, chances are pretty good that pumpkin pie was not on the menu.  At first, the early Pilgrim settlers turned their noses up at pumpkins, but as winter came on and they were hungry and dealing with scurvy, pumpkins started looking pretty good!  One dish they probably enjoyed (which later evolved into our pumpkin pie), was a custard type dish that was baked in a hollowed out pumpkin shell, then cooked in the cooking fire ashes!  I read about it here and here, and modified this set of instructions/recipe  and this recipe to come up with this . . .
Fun stuff!

Next up, I saw this recipe of Paula Deen's for Spice Caramel Corn.  But in my infinite wisdom (and quest to change every recipe/tutorial/set of instructions I come upon), I subbed out the cinnamon and added pumpkin pie spice instead . . .
May I just say YUMMY?!!

Then there were some sugar cookies.  No recipe, no link.  Just sugar cookies, frosted with orange tinted buttercream, sprinkled with autumn sugar sprinkles and topped with a candy corn stem . . .
And I had help!  Both in the making *and* the eating!
Sweet kiddos!

And finally, another favorite of the season.  No link or recipe, though.  Since I had to scoop out the pumpkin innards for the custard, I thought I might as well roast the pumpkin seeds!  I separate them from the 'mush' and rinse them thoroughly.
I then soak them in salted water (about 2 teaspoons per quart of water) for at least two hours.  After soaking, I pour off the water and pat them dry.  Add a tablespoon of cooking oil and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and mix well.  Lay them flat on a cookie sheet (rimmed, if possible) and bake in a 450 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly browned and crunchy!
I have a hard time allowing these to cool before grabbing a handful!!

In other news, my stash report for Week #42 is unchanged from last week. Not one iota.  Still holding strong at 19 yards net used.  I can't recall a time in my life since I started quilted when my purchase yardage was under 10.  Craziness!

And for my Slow Sunday Stitching, I thought I'd work on stitching together a few of my birthday chrysanthemums!
Although it seems kinda odd to have all these purples and blues in what's solidly an orange post!

Linking up to Patchwork Times and Kathy's Quilts today. And at some point I'll enjoy a cup of pumpkin spiced tea . . . and some pumpkin-y treats, too!  


Sunday, October 18, 2015

little pumpkins everywhere . . .

So . . . even though this is only the third weekend in October, I believe this is actually Week 4 of the pumpkin fall festivities, seeing as how I shared the free pumpkin coloring page on the last weekend in September.  
Which, after spending several hours with assorted grandchildren, coloring, looks like this now:
I do love coloring . . . there's something intrinsically soothing and calming about it.  It makes my mind work better.  No, seriously!  ;)

Last week I gave a tiny little sneak peek of this week's craft . . .
So now it's time to give you full view:
Pumpkin Pins!  So darling!  Another very easy, super-fast little project to help get you in the pumpkin swing of things . . . found over at Wild Olive (another project found *for* me by my good friend (and Queen of Hexiecology) Sarah, over at sarah did it!).

You may notice that my little fellow is *slightly* different from the one at Wild Olive . . . I definitely desired a face on mine . . . but the back side, for post-Halloween wearing, is still quite festive (which means I didn't stitch a pin on the back)! 
Especially since I used fabric that *sparkles*!!  (Of course I did!)  And since I was already filling it with a little hexie-shaped batting, I did just the tiniest bit of quilting on it.  Because I can't leave well enough alone!! For the faces, instead of embroidery or teeny-tiny applique, I used my splendiferous gel pens. I free-handed the outlines and colored them in with black, then outlined them in orange (or yellow) to give them a little dimension.  
Overall, I'm very pleased with this little project . . . and they were so easy, we (my mom and I) were able to whip up enough for all the ladies to wear one this weekend!
Five little pumpkins sitting on a dash . . .
Today's slow-stitching involves non-pumpkin work . . . in fact, this Lucy POTC block is looking decidedly patriotic, instead!
I haven't quite decided the direction for next week's pumpkin focus, hence no sneaky peeky! 

And my stash report changed just enough to reflect all my hexie pumpkins (7, in all) and my stuffed pumpkin last week . . . 
For total usage of a fat quarter, which I'll take!

So I'll be linking up to Patchwork Times for the stash report (maybe), Kathy's Quilts for the Slow Sunday Stitching, *and* since both my pumpkin project *and* my hand-work for today involve English Paper Piecing, I'll be linking up with Sarah's HeLP for Hexie-aholics, too!!

Enjoy a peaceful, lovely Sunday!