Tuesday, February 26, 2013

February's WIPocalypse Progress

Finally showing off my WIPocalypse progress for the month. I really had hoped to be able to show off a finish tonight, but alas, this is the project without end!! :) I even had all kinds of time on my hands with the 2nd snowstorm to blow through in the last 2 weeks. I always find it hard to get into my routine when my hubby is home though, so instead of stitching away, hubby and I watched movies and talked and I even got a nap in today.

The picture above is from the last time I posted it, about a week ago during the IHSW.
And this is my progress as of this afternoon. All the stitching is done now and some of the outlining. Just a bit more outlining and I'll be finished with this one. I really like how it has turned out and I think the little 5 year old boy whom this will go to - via LoveQuilts - will like it too. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Winter weather and a hard week

As we live in the central States, we were part of the winter weather that came through last week. I'm not one who likes the cold but it really is beautiful when it snows:) We got a little over a foot of snow, which is more than we've had in a couple years now. We really needed this snow, so even though we were trapped here for a bit, until hubby got the tractor out, this really is a blessing for us.

Two days after the snow we woke up to frost all over everything. It was really pretty with the sun shining on it. I was happy to have woken early enough to get some pictures of it. Our dog Gracie is in the picture above.
More pics of the frost on the trees. There was almost an inch of it all over the branches. 

And our sad news that I've been eluding to... Our dog Titus - the chocolate lab - had been feeling ill. We took him into the E.R. vet early Tuesday morning where they started tests. It took a full day but they found a tumor on his heart. The sack around his heart was filled with fluid and the rest of him was swollen with fluid as well. There wasn't anything that could be done that wouldn't have ended in him dying within days or at the most a couple weeks. So we choose to have him put down so he wouldn't suffer. During the snowstorm, my hubby and dd dug a hole and now he is here forever. This has been really hard on us, but especially our dd.

Well, now we are getting ready for another snow storm. Again, much needed moisture, so it is a blessing - or so I keep having to tell myself. :) This time we are a bit more prepared, though really hoping we get as lucky as last week and are able to keep our power up and running!!!

Tomorrow I will be back and posting on February's WIPocalypse.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Friday Night Sew In

Handmade by Heidi
Not to be confused with my Finish It Friday:)
Heidi at Handmade by Heidi has been doing this Friday Night Sew-In for a while. I started joining in off and on about a year ago, but haven't participated for several months. I thought this would be a good time for me to work on a couple of my sewing projects off my '52 in 52' goals list. I am wanting to get a quilt done for us, a couple smaller quilts to give away and a couple dolls or teddy bears to give away at some point this year. So I decided, since it was already started I would work on the quilt for us. Actually this was a project that I had originally started with my first 'Friday Night Sew-In' post:)
I started out with 4 rows already sewn up. This project probably hasn't been touched for over 6 months now:) I don't know how many times I've mentioned my high frustration levels while machine sewing, but it just isn't one of my favorite things. I did have some sweets by my side to help with the process, and I limited myself to 10-20 min sections of time, which seemed to help quite a bit.

I ended up with 7 1/2 rows, so I almost doubled my previous progress. The only reason I stopped there is that I needed to cut more fabric. So my plan is to have lots more fabric already cut and ready to go before the next Friday Night Sew-In - which will be March 22nd. Maybe I can double my progress again:)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Finish It Friday

I am so excited to show of my finished project for the month!! I had hoped to get two framed up, but we had a rather rough week here - more on that in another post- and I just didn't get to the other. Here is what I did get done...

I started off wanting to work on these two projects. The one on the left is 'Heart of America' from Little House Needleworks. This is the one that I can't find the buttons for!!! I saw them a few weeks ago and I'm sure I put them somewhere 'safe', but I have no idea where!! The other project is 'Stealing Oats' from BritterCup. I love stitching her designs because they are so simple, but turn out so very cute. This project is for my dd and I stitched it a little over a year ago, but have never framed it.

I have a horrible time keeping white fabric clean, so I started things out by taking a wet wash cloth and spot cleaning a few areas. I couldn't wash the whole piece because the fibers I used were hand dyed and they would bleed onto the fabric. After washing it up a bit I ironed it. I had to be careful with the iron as there is a few beads on the flowers.

I already had this frame on hand set aside for this project - yes, that is how badly I put off finishing up my projects, I had everything I needed to get it done, and I just didn't do it. Since this was a regular frame and I had some beads on the piece, I didn't back it with anything very thick, so I wasn't able to stitch and stretch the back of it. I did use a bit of glue on the back to hold it in place - yes, I know, very bad!! But that was the best I could do on this one. Plus this was 18 ct Aida fabric, which means it was easy to center and didn't need a lot of stretching anyway.
So that is it for me this month. I have so many projects that I want to be able to finish off next month!!!
If you participated, please leave a link to your blog post by next Monday and I'll count everyone's up at the end of the year for a prize of some sort:)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Finish It Friday Reminder

Finish It Friday
I'm so excited that tomorrow is the first 'Finish It Friday'!!! I'm busy working on getting at least one project finished up. I was hoping to be able to get two projects all finished up, but alas, I cannot find the buttons that are needed to be able to do this. I KNOW they are around here somewhere!!! We have a nice snowy day here today, so it is a great excuse to just bunker down and get some crafting done:) I hope you are able to join me on this tomorrow!!! Oh, and I believe the button above - as well as the one on the side of my blog - is fixed. Please let me know if it doesn't work for you.
EDIT: I forgot to say that to learn about 'Finish It Friday', push the button above or the 'Finish It Friday' Tab at the top of my blog:) Sorry about that!!! 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Feb 2013 IHSW

Even after running around half the weekend, taking dd to her various activities, I still managed to get quite a bit of stitching done this weekend. I had wanted to have this block done and sent off to LoveQuilts by now, but it is getting very close and shouldn't take much longer to finish up. It isn't due until the beginning of April, but also have one due the beginning of May and another the beginning of June, neither or which I have started yet:) So lots of stitching that needs done as well as a few things I've got going just for me!!
This was on Friday.

And this is today. Note that the fabric is white, not blue like it looks above:) Blue would have been really pretty with this. All I have left to do now is the rest of the water and the outlining. I should have it done by the end of the week:)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentine's Day - a day late:)

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day yesterday. I had hoped to get on here and post a V-Day finish, however I didn't actually finish stitching it until around 9:00. So I am here to celebrate Valentine's with you today instead of yesterday:)

This is Love Letters. I stitched it on 32ct Jobelyn's Queen Ann's Lace using GAST Rose Garden. I'm super excited about this project because my sister-in-law, Marianne Meyer of Midnight Stitching, designed it!! This is one of my favorite designs that she has done so far:)

As much as I love this project, it is even better finished into a sewing pouch. Mary-Kathryn of Impie, Hattie and Bea, made a sewing pouch that is for sale on her website that complements this design perfectly. I may try my hand at making something similar for finishing mine:)

One more bit of news. My hubby and I usually don't make a big deal out of V-Day. A flower here or a piece of pie there, but never anything big - except the year he got me a dish washer, and believe me, I LOVED it:) This year however, he really surprised me. I wasn't expecting anything at all, and I really am fine with that, he works hard for us all year and I don't expect this one day of the year to be any more special than any other. Hubby sat me down and said that he had something for me though. He brought a bag in to me and inside was an IPad!!! I am so excited!! Now to just figure a few things out on it so I can start using it:)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

IHSW reminder

Just a reminder that this coming weekend is the International Hermit and Stitch Weekend - or IHSW for short!!! For full info on this, click the button above. Basically it is just a fun reason to spend a bit more time stitching this weekend than you might other wise do. Take pics of your before and after progress and post them on your blog either Sunday or Monday.
Hope to see your progress!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I WON!!!

How fun this was for me. My first giveaway winnings:) While looking around at many, many blogs during the Grow Your Blog Party -which I didn't even get through a third of the blogs listed and that's okay, they are still listed so I still have time:), I came across another blog hop. It was called 'Dare to Dresden'. I had no idea what that meant, so I checked it out, and it turns out that I has to do with quilting with a 'Dresden' design. Okay, still didn't help but I Googled it and that helped explain some:)

So while I was looking around at some very beautiful quilts that some very talented quilters/bloggers were designing, I entered in for a couple giveaways. And lo and behold, I WON!! Heather Karr from A Reformed Heath'n had a giveaway of some wristlet bags that she has made. So cute!!! I am planning to use mine to carry around extra scissors, needles and other necessities for when I travel with my stitching - which is most of the time as I rarely go even into town without taking something to work on with me, you never know when you will be waiting in the car for a few min here and there:)

Isn't that just too cute?!?!?
Thank You again Heather for this wonderful giveaway gift!!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

February TUSAL

I haven't had quite so much stitching time over the last couple weeks, but I am putting in as much time as I can to get a few projects completed. As a result I had a pretty decent amount of orts to show off this month!! It makes me so happy to see all the floss bits from the previous month:0) 
My TUSAL results for February
I still have lots and lots of stitchy things going on that I'm hoping to get done real soon - maybe one of them by Thursday!! 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Finish It Friday Challenge

I don't know about you, but I am terrible about finishing projects. I love the planning stage and then going through my stash of fabrics - either for stitching or sewing - and flosses or yarns, to find just the right color match. Actually starting a new project is great as well. Putting the first bits of color in a plain piece of fabric or making the first cuts into a quilting or sewing project and seeing a project come together. And I am fairly decent - though not perfect - at getting the stitching done, or getting the crocheting part done, but then comes the final finishing of the project. The taking a stitched piece and framing it, or making it into an ornament or whatever. Or putting the crochet pieces together and making a blanket or something else of it. Even just putting a simple boarder on my crocheting becomes a struggle as there are so many other projects to start:) So this Challenge is my contribution to keeping you and me (...well, mostly me!!) in line when it comes to actually finishing a project.

This Challenge or SAL or CAL or whatever works for you:) - is about completely finishing off a project. It's about taking all those small stitched projects that you've finished stitching, but haven't done anything with, and making them into something. Maybe a ornament, or a flat fold.

Maybe you are into crocheting or knitting and you have blocks done up everywhere that need pieced into a blanket or something else. This is the time and place to get to it.

Obviously I am mostly into stitching, but I want to open this up to all crafters/sewers/fiber artists. So if you are into quilting, knitting, stitching, scrapbooking, sewing, woodworking, jewelry making, etc, and you have a hard time doing the final finishing work before starting a new project, then this is the Challenge for you!!

The plan is that we will post our finishing progress on the last Friday of the month. You can work on it whenever you like, all month or just a day or two, but try to post right around that last Friday. Come back here and link up to your post and we can visit each other and encourage one another to get those projects done once and for all!! :)

You do not need to sign up ahead of time, just come and go as it works for you. I do plan to have some kind of prize and will draw a name at the end of the year for those who participate. You'll get your name in a drawing each time you come back here and link up to your blog posting.

The dates for this will be...

Feb 22nd
March 22nd
April 26th
May 31st
June 28th
July 26th
Aug 30th
Sept 27th
Oct 25th
Nov 29th
Dec 27th

And I made up a button to link back to here - yeah for me!!! as I have about zero computer skills!!

 photo 8b75bf2c-1a38-41f7-8385-d7bc14dc0e77_zps6047e167.jpg

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

52 in 52 update

It's been a bit over a month now since the New Year, so I thought I would catch everyone up on how I'm coming along with my 52 in 52 goals...

In the Kitchen (or to do with food)1. Figure out an all purpose and a baking blend of gf flours that I can make myself (0/2)
2. Find a good gf bread recipe that I can handle eating:) Haven't done this yet, but did find a 'whole grain' gf bread made by kinikinnik that I do like pretty well.
3. Can or freeze 4 new food items that I've never done before (0/4)
4. Can the equivalent of 30 quarts of food (0/30)
5. Make 3 new recipes a month (5/36) Some were really good, others a flop. I will do a recipe post later this month to show off the ones that were winners.
6. Try 6 new kinds of chocolate (2/6) Godiva was GREAT!! Can't believe I hadn't had that before. Black and Green's was not great. First because I'm not a super dark chocolate fan, and one that I tried of theirs was 85% - nasty!!! But even the mint that was 65% dark was bitter and not smooth at all. I did like that theirs is organic, but not enough to eat it again:)
7. Grow and eat from our garden

Charity/Community Service
8. Volunteer to help out at County Fair
9. Community service project with 4-H group
10. 6 stitched blocks for Love Quilts USA (0/6) Almost done with one
11. 8 crochet items to give away (0/8) Getting close on two with another started
12. 4 quilted items to give away (0/4)
13. 2 dolls/stuffed animals to give away (0/2)

14. Finish stitching 10 current x-stitch projects (1/10)
15. Participate in 2 x-stitch exchanges (1/2) Got my info on exchange partner and I have in mind what I will stitch for her:)
16. Participate in 2 round robins (1/2) Have my part done and waiting for word to mail off
17. Participate in 10 IHSW (1/10)
18. Learn to sew a doll or stuffed animal
19. Learn 6 new crochet stitches (0/6) Just starting to learn the basket weave stitch
20. Learn to knit - beginner
21. Sew curtains for living room
22. Choose and create 6 Pintrest projects (0/6)
23. Finish a quilt for us

Health and Wellness
24. Lose 30 lbs (0/30) I don't want to start the 30 lbs until I re-lose the 10 I lost last year :( - good news is that I have already lost 5 of that:)
25. Exercise 4 days per week (2/208) The ankle is holding me back a bit, but I have started doing a little.
26. Walk a total of at least 300 miles (.5/300) Yep, still the ankle
27. Bike a total of at least 200 miles (0/200)
28. Buy good tennis shoes My hubby is insisting on lace-up boots to support my ankles. Maybe this weekend we will go shopping:)
29. Buy a good bike seat

Art and Photography
30. Spend time drawing each week (0/52) Not getting anywhere with any of these!!!
31. Fill up 1 sketch book with drawings and practice pages
32. Take photos every other week (0/26)
33. Take a photo to the county fair

34. Read 18 books for fun (1/18) Icy Sparks by Gwyn Hyman Rubio  - Really good beginning, then slows way down. A good book though all-in-all.
35. Read 12 books to learn from (0/12)
36. Read through the Bible - A few days behind with this, but still going at it.
          -Started using YouVersion app for a chronological 1 year plan

37. Double my monthly readership (1000/1000)
38. Triple my blog followers (77/42) The 'Grow Your Blog' party did wonders for me on this:)
39. Blog on every WIPocalypse (1/12)
40. Blog on every TUSAL (1/12)

Family Fun
41. Go camping 2 times (0/2) Most of these will be summer activities
42. Go on 3 day trips (0/3)
43. Take dd to a pool (public) 4 times (0/4)
44. Take dd to the movies 3 times (0/3)
45. Take dd to a play or ballet
46. Take dd skating
47. Take at least 4 photos of dd each month (3/48) Doing better with this.

Christmas Time
48. Hand craft at least 6 Christmas gifts (0/6)
49. Send out Christmas cards
50. Come up with one new Christmas tradition
51. Make 2 scrapbooks of dd's pictures from the year to give to Grandparents
and 1 for ourselves (0/3)
52. Stitch and finish 6 Christmas ornaments (0/6) Got one stitched now, but not finished.

I really like having this all written out and going over it every few weeks as it keeps goals fresh in my mind and lets me see, for good or for bad, how I am doing. There are a couple goals on here that I probably won't complete, like drawing, but maybe I will get to it a time or two, and that's better than not at all:)

Anyone else set goals for themselves this year? How are your goals coming along?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Ornie #1 - Finally!!!

Stitching Lotus is hosting this 2013 Ornament SAL. It took me long enough, but I finally got my first ornie done!! The posting of this was due last Wednesday, but thankfully we were given a grace period - which ends tonight!!!

Joy of the Snowflake from Little by Little
Found in the Ornie issue of Just Cross Stitch 2011
I really loved the colors in this ornie. I changed it from the DMC threads that it called for and used GAST - Morning Glory and Maple Syrup and it match up almost perfect to the pic in the magazine.
Okay, next finish to be posted *should* be 'Fishing', unless I get sidetracked again!!! :) 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Pay It Forward

I signed up to do this over at Sowing Stitches blog and thought it sounded like lots of fun!!
Here are the rules:
The first 5 people to comment and leave their email and blog address will receive from me, sometime in 2013, a small gift handmade by me, probably something stitched:) ...a surprise in the mail! In this age of digital everything, who doesn't love actual fun mail? There will be no warning, but once I know that the recipient has indeed received the surprise, I will blog about the gift I sent and count down the five surprises with all my blog readers!

The Catch:
Those 5 people must make the same offer on their blog!
If you're interested in participating, making some new friends in blog land, and sharing your creative talents, then please leave me a comment - and please put your e-mail address in the comment, just in case I have trouble e-mailing you:)  I will be contacting the first 5 people who comment to get your mailing address so I will be ready to send your surprise in the coming months!
I look forward to hearing from you!
Pretty excited about this!! I am already coming up with ideas of what to stitch up to send off to you:)
And really sorry I have been a bit absent from blogging this past week. Lots of running around needed caught up on, but it looks like that is about done. Got dd signed up for a couple classes at the Y so she is set to go again. Will have a little running from those things, but for the most part I think things will settle down here again - though not quite like before:) I just almost have a ornament to post - one that was due last Wednesday:) I didn't get a chance to do the YOTA stitching this weekend though, hoping to pick back up on that next month.  Also need to update and post on how my 52 in 52 is coming along. Oh, and I have an idea for a challenge I will be presenting in the next day or two. Really excited about that, even if it just ends up being me that does it!!! 
Okay, so time to work with dd on school, a little house work and then back to stitching for me!!  

Friday, February 1, 2013


Wow, what a busy couple of days, running to and fro!! But I'm settled in for a few hours - before the next running for the day. Thinking of breaking my ankle again, LOL!!! As painful as that was, it was soooooooo nice being home:)

Okay, enough whining!!!

We have a WINNER from the Grow Your Blog Party!!! I found a random number generator on-line and punched in how many comments I had - 86!!!!- and it spit out #85!!! So that makes Carolyn Phillips from Mess Muddle and Fun the winner of my giveaway!!! Carolyn - I left a message on your Grow Your Blog Party since I can't find your e-mail. If you see this here first though, send me a message and I will get your contact info.

For the rest of you- THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I know I've already posted this, but you have no idea how big this was for me:) I grew from 17 followers the morning of the party to a total of 76 as of today. That just blows my mind, really!! I hope you keep following my blog and leaving comments here and there and I'll try to do my part by putting random thoughts and projects here, hopefully that you'll enjoy:)

And as an end-note: I will post a pic of the full giveaway prize as soon as I know it is safely in it's new owners hands.