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