Friday, February 14, 2020

First Needlepoint Finish 2020 - Two Cabins

It's back from the framers and I loved stitching it.   I figure I'd share the finish after framing was done with all the information shared at the same time.

Designed by Nancy's Needle and the stitching started on December 23, 2019 would you believe it was finished on January 12, 2020 (it's a first for me tracking the start and the finish dates of a project - I probably will continue doing this).
Stitched on 20 Count Mono Canvas as instructed with the called for threads using a #22 Tapestry needle with one strand of:

Snow 09 - Silver 
Watercolours  063 - Black Forest
Watercolours  083 - Pine Forest
Watercolours  136 - Cedar
Watercolours  137 - Copper
Watercolours  159 - Silver Blue
Watercolours  196 - Sable
#5 Perle Cotton 4045 - Evergreen Forest
#5 Perle Cotton 4140 - Driftwood
#12 Tapestry Braid 3203 - Cat's Eye

DMC Floss #310 - Black - 2 strands used with #26 needle

Stitched with the called for Stitches:
Slanted Gobelin
Bargello Tuck (securing tail ends of threads)
Mosaic Stitch
Long Stitch
Horizontal Straight Stitch 

Overall I enjoyed this project and it was easy for me to focus on.
I'll be gone for about a month visiting with my Mom.


Thursday, February 6, 2020

Managing and Tending Leftover Threads

With the assortment of threads I use with my needle arts, for many of them I contain them in a DMC box on bobbins with a "like with Like" mentality.  Seems simple, but it works for me.

As shared previously on this post:  my DMC are all bobbin wound and stored in containers so it's easy to find the thread I'm looking for when starting a project.
When I got into  working with wool and needing the heavier threads I found it easier to  use bobbin buddies while stitching to eliminate any Perle cotton thread tangles yet store them within their weight classes in the compartmentalized boxes after their use.  The warmer colors in one or two containers with cooler colors in another.  Labeling the boxes with their weights 5, 8 or 12.  Then I have another container to hold the specialty fibers such as watercolour/snow/metallics and some of the DMC leftover bits.

I purchased a bobbin die for my Sizzix Big Kick and love how it works for making cardboard bobbins.  When done stitching a project, Typically I'll print out the design I stitched and will use that image glued on one side of a bar coaster and oak tag heavy duty paper glued on the other side.    You heard that right, a bar coaster.  It's heavy duty enough to hold up to use/abuse with those heavier threads, looks nice and an easy reminder of where I used that particular thread to bout.

Though you can't tell by this photo on the left,  I note the type of thread with the color name and number on the oak tag side of the bobbin and store it in a case that's not quite deep enough for them to stand upright in unless they're tilted a tad in the compartment.   I don't go through a lot of these as I just make one to however many more are needing a bobbin when finishing a project.  When asking the bar/restaurant owners and managers if they mind if I take one or two while eating out at their establishments, they'll respond positively to my request - thankfully.

Color name and number beside thread brand
is noted on the oak tag side of these home-made bobbins

Here's the box holding the odd bits of
leftovers.  For the DMC 5, I  wrapped onto the regular bobbins anything left from the opened/used skeins (using the plastic bobbins available at the hobby stores to store those on which makes a chubby bobbin).  Noting on the top the color and on the backside DMC 5.

The DMC and Valdani 8 and 12 that I use as they are sold on the ball skeins (how they come) and when in use I will store the balls in the bobbin buddies (seen in the first photo setting on top of the stack of plastic boxes in a netted bag)  I purchased through Bird Brain Design many years ago.  She is selling little glass jars now to contain the skeins of thread with a jar lid having a centered hole.  I don't see the style I use as available anymore on line anywhere, but they are similar to the "toy coin machines" with the colorful capped bubbles with a little prize inside.  The only difference is that there is a hole drilled into the bubble part to allow the thread to be pulled out when needed.  You can actually see those ball skeins in the first photo shared and stored in either warm or cool color combos.  I also love the Wunderlist app on my smart phone to document which brand, color and weight threads I already have on hand.   I use this app for my Accuquilt dies, threads, etc..... I  LOVE IT!!

Love this Bucilla Thread display Organizer while stitching on my project,
it was so much more solid than my home made version on the Oak Tag Paper. 

Recently I thought of color coding my hobbies so am using Orange for Needlepoint.  Anything to help me easily transition from one project to the next besides know at a glance which bag to grab as I head out the door is a boon in my life.


I have a whole different system I use for Eleganza (my Sue Spargo) threads I'm using on my current wool project but that  topic is for another day!  Share more later.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

DARE Graduation

The youngest grandchild has hit this local milestone.  It's a program that is so needed in this day and age IMHO.  The program is about Saying NO to drugs, No to under age drinking and builds self confidence and what to do in certain situations to keep your self safe in skit mannerisms.  The local Sheriff's Department has an employee at the school for Fifth Graders, getting to know the children and build a rapport with them and lead as a prime example of community involvement.  Many children treated this Deputy as the Pied Piper.

I love these Boys!
PGS#3 on the left with his BFF, RS what a great kid! on the right
Congratulations Guys!  


Thursday, January 23, 2020

Week 4 of 2020

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by [Clear, James]Continuing on with my drive and seeing progress in many areas.  VBG and TG!!
Each year I tally my "Dream of 100" where I track projects finished, hiking, biking, trips, museums, movies, books read etc... as a way to reflect at year end and to visualize/remember  how my time was spent. 
For the past 5 years I've happily excelled the "self proclaimed 100"

Such as the category of reading  books.  I love to read and will have 2-3 going at one time.  Currently am reading the Bible (daily with prayers and meditation),  Atomic Habits by James Clear (on my night stand and during the day/errands and wait times), and When Breathe Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi  (an audio book to listen to when I'm doing my Kitchen chores).  Right now I am really enjoying the Bible and Atomic Habits so far.  I thought I'd write my 2019 list of books read here for my personal reference as I continue to try to empty my shelves.

  1. Dead Watch
  2. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane
  3. Memory Man 
  4. Coffin Dancer
  5. Lady Killer
  6. Today Will be Different
  7. King Arthur and Knights of the Round Table
  8. Think Twice
  9. Firefly Lane
  10. Fly Away
  11. The Panther
  12. The Almost Sisters
  13. The French Gardener
  14. LaRose
  15. Someday Soon
  16. Lilac Girls
  17. Magic Hour
  18. NYPD Red 3
  19. The Things We Do For Love  
  20. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
  21. Blue Gold
  22. Lost City
  23. Exclusive
  24. The Lost Girls
  25. The Hit
  26. The Curated Wardrobe
  27. Comfort and Joy
  28. Shadow of Night
  29. Demon Seed
  30. A Dog's Purpose
  31. The 5 Secrets you Must Discover Before you Die
  32. Undercurrents
  33. Radical Kindness
  34. Mad River
  35. The Stars Are Fire
  36. The Talbot Odyssey
  37. When Organizing Isn't Enough SHED
  38. Notorious Nineteen
  39. The Best of Daily Wisdom for Women
  40. The Never Game
  41. Polar Shift
  42. Organizing From the Inside Out
  43. The Dry Grass of August
  44. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats
  45. Overdose
  46. Backseat Saints
  47. The Girl who Stopped Swimming
  48. Where the Crawdads Sing
  49. Become a Better You
  50. The Collectors
  51. The Art of Dying Well
  52. Deliver Us From Evil
  53. Keep Quiet
  54. Year One
  55. One Second After
  56. One Year After
Would you believe my shelves don't seem to be getting any emptier either as family and friends will share a "good Book" or suggest another book to read/lend besides the titles my book clubs' selection for the month.   But with 56 read last year - it is a great number and I'm satisfied.  

8 - )

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Roaring 20's coming through..

Working on my spool quilt I started in October 11, 2019.  The thread winded sets are all made, now only need to iron, cut and stitch on the background bars on each side before figuring out which the spool ends to use on each and where.  Fortunately  I saw Edyta Sitar's quilts at our guild meeting in Glens Falls the following day and they are even more fabulous in person,  as is she.

What a talented, kind and beautiful woman.

My humble spool bits being shown below:

Being the third Thursday of this new decade finds me streaming on through my wishes.
Actually making time to sew in my studio though it's still a mess, (must be my normal)   ;~/

Eureka!  A new to me concept.   But it instills my creativity to try to "sew my way out of the mess" and that hasn't been working for me so I'll just try embracing it from now on,.....  we'll see.


Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Two cabins near end....

Second week of 2020: 

Feeling blessed and happy.  

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Intention is key and my current project for 2020

"A good intention clothes itself with power."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Always having the best of intentions, though I seem to falter in the completions arena.
So to bring in a very happy, healthy yet productive 2020 my current focus is Two Cabins design from Nancy's Needle.

My word of the year is "record-breaking".
Keeping it simple and now that my computer is back and running, post weekly, simply and proceed.

TTFN, Jane

 Living with simplicity, and steadily share more routinely are my 2020 intentions

Friday, July 19, 2019

July's wip

It's been quite hot and we're still running the roads to ballgames for the youngest grands.  A couple of nights away and then back home for more games still and family connections.   I recently tried a new to me coleslaw that was yummy.  It was a slaw with peaches.

Asian Peach Coleslaw:

1 Cup coleslaw mix
1/4 English Cucumber Chopped into bite sized pieces
1-2 fresh peaches- peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces
1-2 green onions, chopped use whatever color and parts you desire or both
1 Cup snow peas cooked and chopped into bite size pieces
1 Cup bean sprouts if desired (I omitted this since DH can't have sprouts since the heart transplant)

Ginger Mandarin Salad dressing
Soy Sauce

Toss all together and then drizzle with the last two listed, soy sauce and mandarin ginger dressing to taste.

It was unique, good and pleasant.  For left overs, I threw in a bit of nuts and leftover grilled chicken to make a bowl meal, YUM!  Cleaned it up very quickly.  I tried to find the original source for this recipe but didn't have a any registration marks with my print out and couldn't find this specific one to link it up, never knew there were so many on the internet, oh where have I been?!?.

Last evening we hosted a small gathering with our direct offspring along with my Mom and one of my brothers,  Tom and his wife Eileen.  Dh cooked the whole bit outside as it's too hot to cook inside.  Thank Goodness we have the appropriate tools for doing this with his Electric Smoker (I bought for him years ago) for the pork loin roast (He also cooked up the Kielbasa as I love it smoked to use for appetizers and for breakfast).  Then with his propane burner stove (he had in from ice fishing and maple sugaring days) we precooked whole potatoes which were kept warm by the induction cook top that I purchased a few years ago for chocolate making with out the children helping being able to be burnt but it's also been so handy to use when we travel. The meal also included corn on the cob which was done after the potatoes moved to the warming area.  All perfectly timed!
We ladies of the family set up the buffet area and managed to get some crudites assembled for simple sides to go with.  It was so nice despite the heat and the timing with everyone's schedules.   I love watching the interaction of the grands as they tease and poke a bit at each other.  Makes my heart smile.

My next focus will be another salad made to bring to the Family BBQ being held at my brother Doug's house tomorrow, am thinking of a broccoli salad for that BBQ  that's why I thought of the Asian Peach Salad and figure I'd share it here as a resource in case I can't find that sheet of paper some time in the future, LOL.

My Mom is up for the week and I know the time will be flying. 


PS: My focus this month is that WFQG quilt and needle roll.    Later gator!

Sunday, July 7, 2019

May and June have gone by....July's hopes

PGD#1 ready for her semi formal, June 2019 
Again, I've been super busy and tending to all my priorities, nothing major just the house, yard, gardens, and traveling and regretfully for me my sewing tasks have slid . farther .  aside. : ~ (

The only grand daughter had her semi-formal eighth grade dance so all the females in the family spent the day together getting her ready for it. 

Lunch out at her choice- Arnies in Plattsburgh, pedicures and manicure at A Plus nails and then the hair dresser arranged to do her hair on her day off, thanks Michelle!  It was an enjoyable day and she looked really nice.  She actually agreed to wear a couple of my bracelets for accessories which she kindly returned. 

The back side of her semi up do

Since the camera was out to document this milestone, I had her brother and their dog jump in for photos.

PGS#3 with their 3 year old dog, Scout.

lil miss talking to her brother

And just so you know we are totally normal some "real shots too"!  They get along great and then like oil  and vinegar, typical siblings.  One would smile and the other would act up and vise versa.

He's not into getting pics taken, it's too hot!

On another post I'll share about my trip to Florida to visit with my Mom and sister.  It was such a nice visit and I enjoyed my time with them thoroughly while getting some much needed warmer weather and some sunshine.  So back home for a couple days and then back to Boston for DH's 1 year post heart transplant check up.  Thankfully all is going extremely well. 
Then came the end of school sessions with a BANG!  Concerts, National Junior Honor Society events and sporting events.   Both of the youngest grands played ball, (softball and baseball) with an assortments of 5-6 different teams, modified, city league, All star and both are on Traveling ball besides the town summer league.  SO many games and so many miles traveled while we supported their activities with our presence but phew!  We're glad many of them are now over,  just the traveling ball teams and the town team are left.  It's been so busy that we haven't yet opened the pool as we were gone, or when we were home the weather wasn't cooperating.

AS for projects I've been dawdling around with my needle roll that I started while in Florida while visiting Mom.  It's been great stitching it, but when I ran into the bees wings, I've done them twice so far and now have ripped them out twice as well.  Perhaps I'll play with my angelica fibers to see if that would be an improvement.   What's that?  theh third times the charm, crossing my fingers here. 
Here's it is in it's present state:
in progress Sue Spargo kit - needle roll, I've embroidered  stitches around the labels to coincide with the color of spools relevant to the different weight threads (3,5,8,12)  to help me stay organized down the line. 
My plan is to use a straight pin to denote which needle I've pulled out to work on.  I may use different colored heads for counted cross stitch, needlepoint and wool work, TBD!

It's was a kit I purchased through Sue and I've changed out bits and stitches to suit me.  She had excellent instructions and designs slated for it, the problem is me, I can't seem to follow the main stream.  Yet I am having fun stitching it.    The de-winged bee closeup.

bee detail sans wings
Section showing some of the lupines and poppies.

So I'll post the needle roll as my July OPAM focus.

I'll end this post with a couple of photos of my garden.    It's been my  focus for May and June to get the gardens done.  Everything got in despite all the travels we've been on there just remains more weeds and now to finally open the pool this week.

The darkest colored lilacs next to the butterfly house were fabulous!

Just now the Missouri primroses and lilies are flowering. 


Monday, July 1, 2019

Q3 FAL list - 2019

I started the year out with a bang getting some smaller UFOs and pigs done.  So my intention with this post are a few more bits I'd love to see pushed into the fini pile so I'm linking up my desires with Leanne at She Can Quilt.

1- Needle Roll completely done.

2- WFQG Community Quilt finished then turned in.

3- This quilt is one my Mom made into the top from a kit I purchased to make for my daughter that also needs to be finished.

4-  BQ 2 quilt I made into a top for the grand daughter and then it sits there and needs to be finished.  Next step is piecing the backing. 
(R U Seeing a theme here?  I am!)

5- The Radiant Quilt finished, here again the top is made, I've been percolating quilt motif ideas and it sits.

6- A fall Diva Wallet that I actually can't find.  I  will be back to post a shot of the gorgeous fall leaves digital fabric with the cork-like lime green fabric  I cut out  2 falls ago for!

7- Nelson Mandala wall hanging, I haven;t been happy with it, but with this shot it doesn't look too bad, hummmm...

8- The 3 dimensional wall hanging from a VQF class in 2017.

9-  2 Nylon Chair bags- currently in progress...

10 & 11 - PIGS for 2 Sofa table runners for Summer and Fall.  Again, I don't know where that fall PIG went, so I'll only share a photo of the summer version pig in its place but I plan to use border fabric for both of them.

12-13 This NEW  PIG,, a stack of fabrics that needs to be finished as a baby quilt with a complimentary baby doll blanket!

14 through 16 or 17 - An Orange, a Red and a lime and/or? Aqua project vinyl bags made, still need to select the appropriate fabrics for them to use this pattern.

Hopefully these will become my vision(s) with a one and done step ....then NEXT!


PS:  While hunting to take pictures of these I ran into other set aside UFOs and pigs I'd like to get to as well,  Note to self, slow down Janie and focus dear, focus ...   VBG!  Here I go again!