Sunday, December 20, 2015

My First Stocking finished!

Gladly, I was able to finish PGD#1's Christmas stocking by the 20th of December that  I desired! Yippee!!!!

But, there was another problem... The Heel!
For a comparison, the difference between a sock for Brody correctly done on the left  by my Mom, and the Albatross I knitted for McKenna on the right.
The following is the photo sent when I texted my Mom with the title: "Houston, We Have another Problem"!

It's totally messed up and I see where it happened, the gusset at the heel.  I never realized that it was wrong  until I was knitting the bottom ring of red near the toe part just before changing to the green.  How ridiculous is that!    AND my self imposed deadline was the next day.  Not enough time to rip out and try to figure out the correct way to do it, I just had to plug on.

I think there was around an extra 46 stitches added to the girth of the foot.  No wonder it took me forever.
Mom said she'd show me the correct way to do it the next time we get together so I think I'll be making another stocking in the near future so I get down to the heel area.

I think this one will be left alone since McKenna confidentially shared with me that she likes that bigger stocking.
That way Santa can put more goodies in it she informed me with a smile!  ; D
I didn't have the heart to tell her Santa would be hard pressed to stretch out the top of it to get something into it.  It's big enough for a watermelon on the bottom but there is no way it'll fit through the cuff!

What's that saying I like?  Oh yeah, "Finished is better than perfect!"  I'll be linking this up with Melissa of A Lovely Year of Finishes.

Now to start  on another one and I'm thinking of making this one for their Dad, but making another goof (on accident on purpose) and making it really skinny.   I know, I'm bad!!!!
Editing this on 1/3/16.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Glitter glitter everywhere-

Another area I enjoy decorating through out the year are the wreaths hung on two doors of my home and then at Christmas time especially - a spray is hung over the garden gate doors.
I have a system in the garage for storing all of my seasonal wreaths since it's quite an investment and it's easy to decorate hen they are not all dusty and squished!  With pulling out the December items, they needed attention.  So I started un doing and redoing and made a couple of purchases with more items than I needed as long as I could return what I didn't need with a recent being asking during the transactions.  As long as the items are returned before the Holiday I was told.  No Problem!

The one that was there was so DONE and had served us well for the 15 years it's been there! The photo above on the left shows how bare the decorations were after years of weather, wind and time.  The ribbon started as a burgundy but was so aged all the sparkle was gone, what to do, revamp all of them!
First the front door with the little counted cross stitch pillow was removed from the wreath and all the other bits, then it was decorated with new bows, ribbons, and red and lime Christmas tree balls of different sizes.    The wreath now has white lights allover with a lit red bow.  Adding plenty of candy cane striped doodads to make it even more festive makes me feel wonderful seeing it on the front door.  Very traditional looking scene with the typical red/green colors of the Holiday sign on the outside porch and the Birch wood Reindeer with a coordinating red bow around it's neck welcoming all.

Now for the family entrance side and on the driveway entrance Fuchsia was the color theme.  The spray over the garden gate will be up all winter.  So luckily I found a silver gold ribbons, pearls, fuchsia ornaments, glittery doodads, and varying ornaments made this one really unique.  What do you think?  I think it could easily segue into the Mardi Gras season and beyond!    It truly is OVER the top!  pun intended...

Using many of the same style of decorations for the wreath that hangs on the kitchen door that had to be revamped.  I used plenty of bows,  multi-sized ornaments (some dangling), different flower picks of glittered drums and sprigs, as well as the same "cow udder things" (as DH mentioned last year that were recycled)  to add movement each time the door is used.

It looks really nice and am so happy with those results!  
It's a blessing that even with the recent snow squall that came through, it's holding up perfectly!

This is the system we use to store them.  All of the wreaths fit into monthly marked containers.  The swag and Christmas wreath with those ball hanging down thingies are stored on the garage rafters in plastic bags which require a ladder.   DH and I built two shelves over the garage doors.  One for summer stuff and the other one for winter items.  
System in the garage for storing all the door wreaths.  DH bent some garden hooks and put up a suspended left over  curtain rod.  I can get at these without having to use a ladder, just a nice little hook on a long pole
makes it easy to get down and easy to get back up!

Just had to share with the grands being here last week while school was out, here's a giant Furby cleaning off the car when he arrived at 7:30 am in his pajamas.  That boy runs HOT! and doesn't like to wear a coat.
PGS#3 arriving with here during the school's  Christmas break.  Just turned  7 on 12/8 and is in the first grade.

He's a great little worker.
 Editing this on 1/3/16 since December flew by!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Community quilts quilted

Another Project I wanted to clear up in December was quilting a community quilt for the WFQG was realized.    That's two of the three done and in the busiest month of the year.


I used Anne Bright's design as inspiration to do a meandering crayola with a brightly colored variegated thread.  Since there are numerous ladies who only do bindings for the guild, this will be shipped off to them at the January meeting.  I actually had this finished before the December meeting but with the excitement of the Christmas party, auction and other happenings, I left it on the living room chair when I left in the morning. ; (  It's only a 90-100 minutes away in one direction - so it'll have to wait until January to get out of here.  But Yee haw, Another one done!
Linking this up with AYLoF since that goal was met.

Am thinking of listing my goals come January with AYLoF and Angie at a Quilter readers garden because by continuing this practice, it's realized many times and it's a gentle push to get things done with the chance of a nice reward AND since I do have that procrastinator gene that I have no idea where I got it from it just what I need!
Editing this on 1/3/16 since the Holidays were super busy and I have con't health issues trying my patience again!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Enjoying my day with December dreams shared and learning...

This is unusual, It's Saturday morning and I am home and alone.  Ahhh..., the quiet is pure heaven. There is no television droning on in the background just hearing the ticking of the living room wall clock, no one to make a meal for or chaperon, the day is mine for a little while anyway to do as I like.
With so many possibilities then what is my intention?  Of course it's to write a simple blog post with some links on my December's intentions.  I'm linking up with Melissa of A Lovely Year of Finishes and Shanna of Fiber of All Sorts. 

First up is this that needs to be completed by the 20th hopefully.  I did start it this summer and was going along until I saw that the lettering was puckered for PGD#1 name.   Not being sure what to do to fix it, it became a K-UFO.
While my sister Beth visited while her husband was working on the deck recently I shared it with her and asked her opinion.  Rip it out?  Start a new one?   Cut some of the connecting yarn carries?... were the options I had considered.  She said I was being way too picky, I just needed to continue knitting it as it was.

Thanks Beth!   I am proceeding now but am so out of practice knitting wise that I continue to TINK (that's knit backwards, LOL) rather than make any headway but the rhythm is slowly coming back.  I recently joined a knitting group at the local Senior Center to be able to ask for help since this is my first sock.
At the group, a lady said "Oh, you're doing Intarsia knitting."  Of course I've heard of that term before but didn't realize what it was.  So another tidbit learned.  She also shared that the puckering seen on Intarsia knitting was a common sight for newer knitters and was good enough.
Finished by the self imposed 12/20/15 deadline that was shared here.

Then there is this community quilt that still needs quilting and hopefully binding before next Saturday.
That way it'll be turned in and not hang around here any more! Tomorrow is the day I've slated for that, so will be linking up with Kathy at Slow stitching Sunday.
Finished by December 12th and was posted here.

Another little project I thought of clearing up this month is this Christmas Panel.  Either I'll be gifting it away (there's a quilty auction going on at my guild next week or making it into an apron to perhaps give during the Chinese/Yankee gifting exchange at my December Book Club Gathering or perhaps even create a little something that it screams at me to make and keep.
1/3/16 editing this as this wasn't completed due to having more medical issues along with the craziness of the Holidays.  I will be placing this on my January's WIPs be Gone with Angie of A quilting Readers Garden.

This will be a surprise for both you and me.  LOL

The counted cross stitch is at a stand still for now until my thread order arrives from ABC stitch.  I've run out of one of the main color surrounds of Cocoa so took advantage of the black Friday sales and purchased numerous threads and a couple more patterns.
The only thing that slightly irritates me with doing business with them is they don't back order all the items from your order/purchase.  If it's not on hand, then they eliminate it all together and adjust the invoice accordingly instead or trying to fill your order completely.    8 (  
That being said though,  I do agree to their policy so I can get the supplies I need - that's why it's rated as a  minor irritation.

My last intention which is slated for today is to finish reading this month's book selection of Delicate, Edible Birds written by Lauren Groff.  It's a compilation of stories which has me befuddled most of the time.  Each story is about 30-40 pages and with each one it seems to start out with some characters named, her, him, the old lady and then on the next page your some place else with the Doctor and the sunset and swimming in Key West, then in NYC with a child and an imaginary friend, what, uhh?  The author writes well but I personally don't care for her style of writing stories in this manner.  I love a good read that just sweeps you in, intrigue, clinical even , drama and plot twists are all appreciated but not this one for me, thank you very much, it was just too disjointed with each story delivery that I was flipping back to learn the characters better!  Would you believe I created some personal "Cliff Notes" for each story on my cell phone so I could remember the whats, whys, who-s, hows and wheres were as a handy note for the discussion during our book club gathering!  Just a personal FYI- in my book, reading is suppose to be fun and not work!  Finished this by the 13th! (edited on 1/3/16)

Another activity that has kept me busier than my normal is the additional cooking being done.  I've found out at the ripe age of 59, alright y then, recently turned 60, that I'm gluten intolerant and perhaps Dairy sensitive too- the jury is still out on that last bit.  So I have been learning to cook and bake differently.  I ordered this set of three books from Amazon and they have shed some light on this recent journey.  Nice books and so far so good.   My cupboards have been getting striped of gluten products and stocked to hold the supplies needed since I enjoy cooking and will oft try new recipes.  It makes it difficult when I don't have the pertinent ingredients in, so have been shopping wherever I can find them; here, out of state and on the net.  If you have ever eaten gluten free bread from the grocery store, you'll know why making them yourself is so much better and it has a much better texture and flavor than what is available on the shelf.

Julie from the blog Mennonite Girls Can Cook where she shared her GF (gluten free) flour mix and some delicious recipes that I've made is a beautiful soul. When I commented on a post to thank her for sharing her knowledge, I mentioned I had some bananas over ripe and was there any magic formula to consider while cooking GF.  Would you believe she wrote back with in 24 hours had a new recipe of a GF banana bread muffins she whipped up that morning before a meeting!  Unbelievable and I am really grateful.  I tried that too and SCORE!  Another winner!   Thanks Julie!
This post actually links to another of her recipes   I would like to try before the Holiday season arrives, the GF lemon butter ice cookies.  8~ )
Another blog found that sounds hopeful with GF recipes is Barefeet in the Kitchen.

Recently I tried another King Arthur Flour Rustic bread too and that came out beautifully from the book How Can it be Gluten Free Volume 2 (page 158).  So two loaves were made at once and I was able to freeze the second loaf for ease later.

All of this takes time since I've had to grind my own navy bean flour, or needing almond flour immediately so had to grind up some of that too. Seems like each recipe takes forever!  Am hoping this will be easier as I practice and hopefully be able to streamline the production.

So much for a short post! Ha!
I'll share a favorite tool of mine ours in the kitchen since DH likes to cook at times too.  It's this slotted fingered spoon that we've had for years. While Thanksgivings Turkey leftovers were being cooked into stock, I threw in a couple of scrubbed Russet potatoes in the pot to not only cook, but too share the nutrients with in it and so I cook have a dairy free mashed spud for hot turkey leftovers so used it to fish them out in a  timely manner with it.    We both use this spoon practically every day twice. I always need to fish it out of the dishwasher to use for another dish.   This spoon is so handy that I'd love to acquire another one as a gift for a good friend, if you happen to see one somewhere, please let me know, I'd appreciate it.  The source I got it from no longer carries them.

Getting off this thing to get busy, TTFN

Monday, November 30, 2015

November Ends

Where is the time going?  My world seems to speed up continuously and that seems impossible but each day is a blur.   The sunsets around here continue to be spectacular!  It's amazing to witness it like this at this time of year.
Some of The GRANDS:  PGS#3, PGS#2, PGD#1
2015 Thansgiving at Meme and Popi's
The Thanksgiving Holiday was wonderful.  Family that could make it did and most of all the grandchildren were around the table.  That makes my heart sing!
While preparing the feast, I received a call from lil' Miss PGD#1.  She wanted to come down could I pick her up?  Sure, I responded so I picked her up and she helped out quite a bit.  Her brother was also invited to come since I had  seen an appetizer dish I thought they'd like to create for our feast but due to some of his behavior errs was told by his Mom that now he'd have to wait until Mom and Dad came down. His loud thoughts were "that's fine by me"  I'll be glad when he gets through this stage and he'll be 7 soon.  

So this is what she did with just a little help from her brother.  Cute isn't it!

She also made the gravy for the feast and the lil' guy helped to set the table.  We had a very enjoyable day and spent some nice quality time together.  Eating, visiting, football toss, football watching, clean up and then some board games.  All in all so much to be grateful for.

Photo of the Grands taken at PGS#1 Birthday celebration at the end of October
PGS#3, PGS#1, PGD#1
He enjoyed meeting his youngest cousin for the first time and re-visiting with his older cousin.
The day after Thanksgiving, we spent it with the eldest grandson, PGS#1 and brought all of the dinner's leftovers to share a Thanksgiving Holiday with him.   Since he just arrived at this place, he's still in the observation mode so can't he can't leave the premises at his present step.  All the counselors are impressed with him and are repeatedly telling us that the individual on all the medical reports is not the same person they are seeing.  We can only hope he continues to do his best.  

Dear daughter celebrated her !! Birthday just before Thanksgiving, so we got together for that too.  The grands blew up about 150 balloons for the celebration.  The elder one, PGD#1 has learned how to make balloon animals so they used their Dad's compressor to blow them up when Mom was gone for the day.  That's one way to keep the young ones busy so Dad can continue to work on their new deck -  Brilliant!
PGS#3- age 6 still
During the party the youngest one, PGS#3 age 6 decided to static cling some balloons to the walls.  With just two of them sticking on his head, decided it was a strong enough hold to actually glue him to the wall too so he fly paper pressed himself against the wall saying, I'm stuck!  Oh where and how does he come up with the things he does, makes us all happy and scratching our heads wondering.  LOL      
Please disregard the blurriness of the photo, that's my fault with trying to capture these real life moments quickly.
My list of what I wanted completed is falling way short too of everything on it with the exception of my counted cross stitch- Bent Creek's, The Red Thread.  Sorry that I've erroneously been giving credit to Lizzie Kate for this design.  My bad!    Check out all the months- they are now complete:

I've surpassed my goal for this and it's just the end of November.  Yippee!!!  

All that remains now is the ribbon surround on the sides and top with the phrase to stitch along the bottom. That is slated for 2016 but who knows how far I can continue with it this this year.

 Some other bit's I'm grateful for are the Washington Hawthorne tree in the side yard.  It's always so gorgeous at this time of year with all the berries left on the branches for many weeks.  Then it seems like a flock of birds fly in overnight and devour them all in a day.  Since it's wintertime, I'm never sure when that happens, but I am hoping to find out when this year.

BTW- This shot does not do it justice.

Another thank that I enjoy is the natural thermometers outside the bedroom window.  Each morning when I lift the shades, I can note the cold.  Depending on the curl of the leaves and droop of the rhododendron's leaf clumps, you can instantly see how cold it is.  Notice the tightness and droop?  It's in the twenties this am.  Not that it gives it in numbers, only cold, Really Cold and SEVERLY COLD.  LOL  You can barely notice but the rotted timbers are slowly be replaced with landscape blocks.  So much more to do on that yet.

Another thank I have is the side deck is completed!  Yippee!!  That only took 14 months!  My BIL came over to help DH finish it and brought his tools with him.  It's beautiful and gorgeous.  The only problem is with that Trek decking being weathered for a whole year it's dirty and needs some scrubbing but right now it is way too cold to attempt that.  It will have to wait until the Spring.

DH and Siamak (my dear BIL)  taken the Saturday before Thanksgiving
and it was bitter cold while they were working!

THANKS Honey and SIA!!!!

DH installed the post solar lights this week.
They just softly cascade down each post,
(I'll try to capture a photo of them when they are lit.  
Edited this on 12/7/15 the day before the littlest grandchild turns 7.)
You can see the tiny lights just under the post caps despite the camera flash, we're all so satisfied.  8 )
Wishing you all the best at this time of year,

Saw an idea of another embroidery piece that would be sweet to stitch at some point.......

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Walking With Our Sisters Tribute

01walkingposterIn November I was able to visit a long awaited exhibit that I've been wanting to see.  Ever since reading The Round House by Louise Erdrich  back in 2014 when I stumbled onto information about the murdered and missing Aboriginal women and children across Canada and the northern aspects of the US is when my interest was piqued.  Perhaps it was even sooner than that since when my book club read that novel, I presented several print out sheets regarding the vamp exhibit coming near this area in November 2015 for their knowledge and calendars.
I placed it on my calendar and regardless of the many different options of things to go, do, and be;  I wouldn't change my date.  DH and I saw it on the 7th while it was at Akwesasne First Nation,  Akwasasne Mowawk Territory  from November 6th through November 27th.  The event is traveling and ongoing, here is the schedule.

The exhibit was so tastefully done and done with a reverence to and for all those victimized by the unknown/unproven violence against women and children.  Interestingly, a good friend of mine was working the exhibit while we were there and kindly shared the symbolism and inside tribal knowledge about it.  (Besides of course contributing and making five pairs of vamps for her sister who was murdered at the age of 18 many years ago.)   The one on the right I believe is one of hers.

There were so many styles of vamps and many being respective to the peoples' environments with materials available to them and custom techniques commonly practiced in their communities.  Such artwork!  The symbolism and craftsmanship shown was remarkable.  Many beaded, sewn, colored, embroidery stitched, appliqued, totems attached, leather, silk, canvas, shoes of the infants, and even out of bitten birch bark,  etc....  

No photos were allowed and customs had to be followed to protect visitors from any lingering spirits.
I am so humbled by what I witnessed.  
If it's in your area, please try to attend. It's a once in a life time event.

Writing and posting this in 2016  when I found some time!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Slow stitching today, ahhh....

Golden tamarack trees just brighten up the views everywhere.  Gorgeous contrast with the spruces deep greens.

This Asparagus on the roadside is so colorful that on Friday I did a U turn to capture it's brillance.
 I never knew the seeds were this color  -  RED.
The sky was a perfect blue and we had a great visit and beautiful 3 hour ride.
The tamaracks are spectacular on our ride to visit the eldest grandson in Tupper Lake this past Friday.  He is doing wonderfully with this transition and we are so proud.   Duh....., bad Grandma never took a photo of him while we visited!   The staff are impressed with how well behaved he is and he likes this new place immensely.  He's only there for 60 days during the intake process and then perhaps he'll be assigned to a home.  Fingers crossed.  It's nice that he is closer and it'll be easier to visit him.

Life has been fast paced this past week so not too much more has been completed on the WIP-be-gone or my Q-4 list.  That being the case, I seriously need to just be and breath today; so am planning on stitching February's design for the Red Thread.   Here's how it looks this morning.

I find hand stitching very soothing and zen-like.  When I stitch  I totally zone out and stop this monkey mind of mine besides progress some more on a project.  Ahhh....
Will be linking this up with Kathy's Slow Stitching Sundays and the stitchery link Party over at Super Mom No Cape.

Another day this past week the youngest grandchildren came after school.  We needed to dispose of the mammoth Sunflower that is in the lower raised garden bed and I urged Popi to leave it so the youngest one who loves Giant AND Jack and the Beanstock could use an ax and chop it down.

Of course the older sister wanted in on the action too.  Clearly you can see they got right into it!

Enjoy your "Funday", whatever your plans.  And remember to send praise for the many blessings you have. My brother is hosting his dirt bike invitational today so am happy it's warmer this weekend than last despite the drizzle.  ; )

Saturday, October 17, 2015

WIPs be gone

Am plodding along.  My WIP and the Q4 list  #17- The Red Thread made progress this past week.

April's is done so now am stitching March.   : )

The Braid Quilt (WIP and #3 on the Q 4 list) I've been able to get all the blocks made.  37 blocks done which is enough since am thinking of using a 6 x 6 block grid layout with frames, pieced sashes and several different borders so this project will go on the back burner for now.  Am still auditioning what fabrics will be used.  The solid blue and that yellow print 'were' for sure with perhaps a nice white thrown in for crispness too. While looking at these photos for this post, feel that the yellow print washes out a bit too much.  Will let this percolate and I'll ruminate.

Purple fountain grass and other plantings are all transplanted and am hardening them off.  Talk about a lot of work bringing them in then out, then out to the in, (anyone remember the movie HOME?   giggles) etc... so much, but am ever hopeful this will pay off.


This year am hoping to winter the grasses, geraniums, mandeville, vines and annuals.  We live in zone 4, so many can't survive without bringing them in.  I've wintered the geraniums before without problems.  Also a couple of the palms and the desert rose cactus too so wish me luck for this year with doing so many more.

Personally I am tired of spending hundreds each spring to fill the planters - so am hopeful by wintering these, they'll be off to a great start come spring and I'll have more moola in my purse.  We have a unit of shelves set up in the basement for starting seeds in the spring which I need to purge, clean and set up for this winter plan. That chore is on this week's agenda besides storing the summer clothes and footwear.  I'll have to take a whole day to see what brings me "spark-joy" and purge that along too.

Hunting season is here and I love that the men in our family can provide natural game if need be.   DH is actually suiting up too and going our back to see what signs are showing up.  Won't be long now before we have some fresh venison and some game birds.

Son and PGS#2 taken the weekend before Josh's 19th Birthday.
Happy Fall,

Am linking this post up to WIPs be gone at a Quilters Reader's Garden.