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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Vacation...Keeping my Hands Busy

I have been on vaction this week. It has been my first vacation since sometime in the last decade where there was no plan to do something specific. No spending the week painting a new house, no trip with a bunch of people I am only moderately interested in spending time with, and no sporting event. This time I spent the first week sitting around my house and now will spend the next few days visting Maine to see if I can spot a moose. That isn't to say that I have been sitting here doing nothing. I have been going to PT for my shoulder, running errands, puttering around the house cleaning and organizing, and taking care of all the stuff that piles up when you are busy driving back and forth to that job thing. I am so excited that I finally feel like I have some control over my home space. Yes!

Meanwhile, it hasn't been all cleaning, errands, and painful arm exercises. I have been able to stitch!!!! I was able to spend a day hanging out at the stitching shop with Gail and Pat and Jackie...my friends from the local stitching retreats. I bought more floss. I have been bringing my stitching everywhere and spending my free time stitching. I even fnished some projects.
On the 22nd I finished the letter "D" in the art deco Dessins DHC series "Black & White". On the 23rd I started letter "A" and can't believe the progress I have made:
This is stitched on a Lugana 32 count Silkweaver solo in Weeks Dye Works "Eggplant".

Gail was awesome and let me have some of her left over fabric from the March stitching retreat. My dog ate the last piece of the project I was working on back in the spring. With my move and all of the upheaval I have had this summer with classes and work I wasn't able to catch up with her. But this week I was able to get the tiny tiny piece of fabric and finish the pin cushion for the project:
It only took a couple hours from beginning to end. What a satisfying project! The completed pieces from the retreat look amazing together:
Only a few days left to power through some stitching, then it's back to studying, working and PT. But maybe with a bit more balance?

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Crusty Exterior, Soft and Squishy on the Inside

So I decided that I wanted to work on a new project, so I did. So much for my plans to knock out a bunch of my WIPs before starting anything new...as usual :-). A close friend of mine and I share the same birthday, so I decided to make him one of my horoscope kits I got from Thailand (I'm sure there is some irony in this). I knocked it out in a few days:
I have a few more kits like this, but I think I will try to complete 2 more letters in the Black & Whie project before I start the next one. I think that's fair... 2 WIPs completed before 1 new project.

Overall it was a lazy weekend of me reading and stitching punctuated by cleaning the hot tub and taking in a bunch of yard things now that the weather is turning cold. Soon my shoulder should be healed enough that I can exercise more. I'm not sure if I want to sacrifice my reading or my stitching however. This is working out for me currently!!

Back to stitching! Too bad I can't do it while I'm sitting in the hot tub.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Birds in the Round

Owing to my currently half-functional right arm, I still have plenty of time to sit around doing things that do not require heavy lifting. So, today I was able to complete another project. It is a lovely little piece that I have been meaning to finish for some time:
Ronde d'Oiseaux by Dessins DCH on Eggplant R&R Reproductions 30 count linen using Crescent Colors "Rain Shower" 6-stranded floss.

I'm also working on the letter "D" from Black & White. No photos of that right now however. Maybe I can whomp that one out this week and then get onto something like Seasons of the Trees :-).

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Voila!

I completed a project beginning to end without letting it sit for three years! Today I finished Dandy Dreams by Silver Creek Samplers. It was a fun little project and definitely helped me through the long hours stuck healing post-surgery. I will be back to work on Monday and feel good having finally made something with my own hands!
A few nights ago a couple of my dogs had a fight and the adrenaline rush prevented me from getting much sleep. So instead I cleaned out my stitching cabinet and rearranged my kits and WIPs. I was a little disturbed to discover that I have 15 pair of embroidery scissors. I also have two scissor fobs that do not have scissors...um, oh no!! I also moved all of my kits to my stitching box in the living room so I can just pull one out when it's time to work on the next project. Then all of the WIPs were moved to a bag...a -large- bag. There is also a small (thankfully) pile of things that I don't quite yet know where to place. Ah, the odds n ends!

Currently my WIPs include:

I have been working on "D" from Black & White on and off between other things. I'm hoping I can make some headway on that project this year. It's a great travelling project since each letter is just one color. So far I think I have 8 of the letters done with "D" being the 9th. I have a ways to go with that one for sure. 

I have to admit I was surprised to see how many projects I had open...and all of them are absolutely delightful!

And, of course, I had to accompany my friend Anna to A Stitcher's Garden again a couple days ago. As if my money and I don't already part too easily! I was good and got only one item...
This project is from Little House Needleworks. I am very much looking forward to completing this project sometime between now and the end of times!

Anna and I also stopped by Michael's to pick up some frames and other random project bits. While I was there I found a lovely book on hand quilting which has patterns for all of the traditional quilt blocks and a straightforward description of how to bind a quilt! The Handmade Quilt by Carolyn Forster.
I'm looking forward to being back at work next week, but I will definitly miss the ability to stitch when the mood takes me! 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Stitchy Tuesday

Yesterday was an eventful day. I had my second physical therapy appointment and was looking forward to having my shoulder stretched to improve my range of motion when I received a phone call from my friend Jaspreet involving a lot of tears. She had just been involved in a car accident. Fortunately, I was headed over to the hospitals anyhow, so I was able to check in with her. After all was said and done she ended up spending the night here so I could keep an eye on her to be sure that she didn't have any after effects from a concussion. So what better thing to do than to spend the time learning to stitch (stitch therapy is real!)...
This girl took to stitching like a fish to water! She picked the Stoneware Cat pattern with a delightful Silkweaver Reflections scrap fabric I had (I think it is Jamaica Sunset) and Weeks Dye Works "River Rock".

I did end up working a bit on Black and White the day before. But, of course, I decided to start a new project (because one can never have enough WIPs).
This one is Dandy Dreams by Silver Creek Samplers. I changed the floss colors and the fabric color...photos to come as I progress!!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Some Finishes and A New Purchase

I freaking finished something!! So excited!

I was sitting at my friend's booth (Chickadee Homestead) at the NYS Fair all weekend and what else is there to do but stitch and chat??!! So I was able to apply the finishing touches to my "Wicked Doll" project from the 2017 A Stitcher's Garden stitching retreat...
Pretty much I applied the edging and hanger. I love how it takes 2 years to get to such things. I think the work maybe took 45 minutes?

I also spent a lot of time working on my "Yei" project which was a gift from my mum when she went to (I think) the Grand Canyon. It is a simple yet delightful project. I decided to just stitch it on the Aida it came with rather than switching to linen since it's a full coverage project. I haven't decided how I will be finishing it, maybe a pillow or a wall hanging. It might live in my box of completed projects for a while waiting to tell me it needs to live in someone's home.

Oddly, I had a project along with me as an extra little "well if I finish everything else I will work on this" and it turns out it was already done but never posted. It's an adorable cat. I think it shall become a pin cushion...
I found some delightful fabric for backing. I think I would rather use my new machine to sew it together than to hand sew it, so finishing will have to wait until I can use my arm to a greater extent. My surgical site is healing well, but 4 more weeks of passive range-of-motion, so no machine sewing, only holding. This is a sad turn of events because I just picked up a brand new sewing machine!!! It's the Baby Lock "Jane". I was able to get the floor model from my local quilting shop (Calico Gals) because they are bringing in newer models. This was a huge stroke of luck because there is no way I would have been able to afford this delightful industrial-strength machine otherwise. Now I can sew quilts, cross stitch finishes and CAMPING GEAR!!!

Menawhile, I have a pile of found WIPs to keep mye busy for the rest of the week... do I go back to my orange project? Season of the Trees? Black & White? It's going to be a difficult decision. I do so hope I am able to finish a few more in the next few weeks!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Something Long Awaited and a Trip to the Shop

Surprisingly I have been stitching more consistently lately! I have made good progress on my delightful "orange piece" and am quite happy with that. My furniture, which might have been eaten a bit by the dogs in March...
...was returned newly reupholstered...
...and I was cleaning the craft storage area a bit and found about 18 unfinished projects. I guess I have more to do!

Meanwhile, I recently (finally) had some shoulder surgery so I thought I was going to be knocked out of stitching again. So sad. But it turns out that, since it was my right arm, I can hold a piece or use a frame and just go ahead and stitch with my left arm...YAY!! So I have been able to use my recovery time to relax a little and enjoy myself. Not that my time hasn't been filled with all those things one puts off while they're working (doctor appointments, minor chores, sleep, etc.). But I have been able to find a little time to work on one of my newly rediscovered WIPs...
I can't drive anywhere so I have to sucker friends into taking me places. Fortunately, I recently discovered my friend Anna, who has been my chief chauffer, is a stitcher. Again...YAY! Tuesday this delightful human took me an hour to Utica and as a reward I took her to the quilting shop Calico Gals. She found some great stash and I found a sewing machine that I need to replace my previous one. I am excited to be picking it up in a couple of days!

Today I needed to go to a couple of doctor appointments, so again Anna volunteered to take me around (I really, really appreciate her). So today I introduced her to A Stitcher's Garden. After she cleaned house there I am wondering if her husband is going to start asking a few more questions before we go on trips together in the future. I would like to note that Matt (her husband) is a longtime friend of mine and, frankly, I question his judgement as a result of this :-D. 

Of course, I did not leave empty handed from the shop. I picked up a few new patterns and also a delightful scissor fob:
 All Through the Night's "Blackbirds"
 Heartstring Samplery's "Once Upon a Summer Huswife"
 Rosewood Manor's "Swirling Flowers"
Rosewood Manor's "Two Blue Birds"
What a fun trip! While I was there I was able to catch up with one of my friends from the annual stitching retreat. Buuuuuut, I think that I shall now avoid the stitching shop for another six months or so!

Hopefully I am able to get most of my errands done this week so I can continue to concentrate on healing...and stitching!