Friday, September 05, 2014

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY BABY!

I always think of that Little River Band song when I say Happy Anniversary - especially to my DH.

Even though today is just our 2nd anniversary - we have shared 34 years of our life together.  We have had an interesting ride and I hope we have 34 more happy anniversaries to share.

Here is a tiny photo of our wedding day at a chapel in the hills of Tennessee.  One of our favorite places to be.  We couldn't be there on our anniversary this year but we hope to be back there next month for a belated anniversary trip.
 
 
 Not the greatest photo in the world but it sure was a fun day at our wedding reception celebrating with friends and family.
 
Happy Anniversary to us !



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

GREAT EXPECTATIONS

For those followers and friends who have been with me a while already know I am a sloooow rug hooker.  In most cases it takes many years to finish a project - especially a big project.  That would be the case of my Antique Blue Basket.

do you see there is only ONE small bud left to hook and just a few inches of backround.  I can't even believe I am this close to finishing this rug.  It is my oldest rug WIP and 2014 WILL be the year it is completed.  I will show the whole rug when the last loop is pulled.

Another rug that is almost as close to being finished is my Angel Sampler rug.  I have always loved this rug.  It was color planned by  Diane Stoffel.  Having 2 rug finishes is BIG for me and I can't wait to have these two OFF the list and on the floor.

Here is the other side of the runner.  I worked on this at the January Camp Blanding retreat and then just put it away, knowing I only had a small amount left to finish.  I will show a finished photo on this one.  We just finished up another Camp Blanding retreat.

Here is a photo of my DF.s - Katie on the end, Joanne, Karen, Denise, Henri and me.  We had a great 3 day and all kinds of projects were being worked on.  It is mainly a quilting retreat put on by Gloria Parsons Olde Green Cupboard fame.  We are already planning CB retreats for 2015.

here is DF Henri's gorgeous chickadee canvas in a 3 cut.  She is also very close to finishing with only a small amount of backround left and borders.  GO HENRI GO HENRI ! 

The Lucy Boston craze has hit our rug hookers too.  Here is a square (is that what you call them?) that Joanne completed.  She also completed whipping on a HUGE beautiful rug.  Why the heck don't I have a photo of that rug among my retreat photos.  SHOOT ! 

DF Katie was making baskets with Gloria most of the weekend but after completing a zillion baskets she took time to relax and sew some beautiful Lucy honeycombs.  She and Joanne use the English Paper Piecing method that Lucy made famous.  I am going to give this hand piecing a try but I am going to use the fabric stamps which eliminates the need to use the paper pieces.  More to come on that I hope.

Last but certainly not least is Denise with her fall pieced wall hanging.  LOVE the fall fabrics.  She finished the border at the retreat and she was also working on binding a beautiful full size quilt but alas I didn't get a photo of that one either.
 
So friends - my great expectation is that I am anticipating not one but TWO rather large rugs finished in the near future and I couldn't be happier.  Not to mention my Camp Loopy 3 project will be finished TONIGHT !  I've been binding off all week but last night I just could not face that so I worked on my antique blue basket and just had to share my good news.  Until we meet again - I send you warm and wooley thoughts ~ ~

Monday, August 18, 2014

ALREADY AUGUST

How did that happen ?  August is more than half over , gees - would someone please slow this merry-go-round down.  I guess we are officially entering the dog days of summer - extreme heat and humidity down here in the deep south.  Great time to stay inside and give some time to  needlework projects .

I have not been rug hooking much this summer.  I never really do hook as much in the dead heat of summer.  However this has been my summer project.  I have finished all the motifs on the right side of the rug and filled in some more backround.  I'll probably continue to work on this till after Labor Day - the last summer patriotic holiday when I will put this Polly Minick design away and drag out something else.  Probably something seasonal for fall or winter.  I love how this rug is coming out.  It is hooked in a 6cut  using some of Polly's wool, some stashed wool and some beautiful hand dyed wool for the backround.

YIPPEE YIPPEE!!!!!!!!!!!  Look what arrived this weekend.  I was the lucky winner of Melinda's blog giveaway over at the Merry Wind Farm blog.  Look at this darling pin bed and see how creatively finished it is.  Melinda also displays and sells her beautiful things on the Early Mercantile website so check her out on there and also on her lovely blog.  She is a very talented stitcher and also a rug hooker, not to mention has a fabulous 1800's farm house and surrounding gardens and fields.  What a life . . . .

Melinda also gifted me with two great books - Another Place and Time by Maggie Bonanomi - and the Spring 2014 Prim Quilts and Projects mag.  I spent many an hour dreaming my way thru these two books.  THANK YOU MELINDA!!!!!!!  for a great blog giveaway.

This doesn't look like much but it is the wide ribbing on my Camp Loopy 3 project.  Amery is the project name and if you click the name you will be carried to Ravelry.  The designers version is much more striking than my blah charcoal gray with a deep eggplant cast. 
 
 
 
Here is another shot - it is not a circular garment I just had trouble photographing the 495 stitches used in this ribbing.  The yarn choice was Malabrigo Rios - a hand dyed worsted weight.  I have completed the ribbing and am about 3/4 done with the project.  I am on track to finish all 3 of the summer Camp Loopy projects.  Just a refresher - this is sponsored by The Loopy Ewe.  I am excited about finishing all 3, this truly is a challenge to me to dedicate myself to these projects.  When I finish I will have knitted about 1700 yards since  June 1st. I am doing Camp Loopy again this year with my Bee Eyes knitting group, DFs Henri, Karen and Starr.  I think we are all on track to finish all 3 projects.  Even though it has been fun - I will be glad to get back to my stitching and hooking in September.  Oh I always have knitting on the needles and the pull of the wool is great in the fall - it will just be nice not to be on such a stringent schedule for hitting a deadline.
 
I'm afraid I don't have any stitching progress to show you at all.  I have had to keep my head down and really knitting this month to get that 800+ yard project done.  However on the horizon is a possible hexie hand piecing project and hopefully getting back to needlepoint Wednesdays.
I am attending one of the awesome Camp Blanding retreats this coming weekend with a bunch of gal pals who do an awesome variety of work.  Several of them have succumbed to the honeycomb crazed Lucy Boston hand piecing.  I think I will start with my little hexies first and then see how it goes and whether I will be mesmerized by Lucy Boston.
 
  I plan to be back here again in the near future - so until we meet again - I hope all my friends in blogland are taking time to enjoy the dog days.
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, July 06, 2014

JEEPERS IT'S JULY !!!!!!!!

What a great start to July we've had!.  We are just returning from vacation in Tennessee, the Smokies and how glorious it was.  We arrived in the last days of June to record high temps and by time the 4th of July holiday rolled around it was record low temps and we were lovin' it !!!!!!!!!  Can you imagine 59 degrees in July - we were in heaven.

The past few years we have been going to this area with my folks and sharing a condo with them.  We have a great time and this year was no exception, beautiful weather and great shopping, food and sightseeing along with some stitching/knitting time made for a perfect vacation.

Here is a photo of my dear parents standing in the garden at the Old Mill area in Pigeon Forge.

This was one of the cooler days as you can see my mom has a light jacket on. 

I love caladiums and have a few in my own garden but these were just gorgeous.

The Smoky Mountain National Park was loaded with these flowers - all very pale pink or almost white.  They were in the lower elevations near streams - I presume they were rhododendron but I am truly not sure.  They were abundant and beautiful.  We stopped on the way home yesterday so we could get a few shots of them and so my DH could play in the stream. 

The water was C O L D but he loved it !

Here I am on the stream bank with all those flowering trees behind me.  Beautiful tranquil setting.

My mom and I ditched the guys one day and made our annual pilgrimage to Dixie Darlin'.
We have shopped with Cindy for many years.  She is also the designer behind those cute sled designs. Foxwood Crossings and I was privileged to see her market special for the St Charles market later this summer.  Above is my progress on Land of the Free by Willow Tree Sampling.  I didn't have a whole lot of time to stitch but I sure enjoyed stitching on the balcony overlooking the beautiful Smoky Mountain range.
 
 

Cindy doesn't carry a lot of samplers but this year she had some things I had on my wish list.  Here is Mrs Baxter by Stacy Nash.  I just had to sink a needle and make a start on it.  It is on the called for 32ct WDW linen with the called for WDW threads.

The Bucklebury sampler had been on my list for a few months now.  I love this sampler by Rosewood Manor and think I will start out with the Welcome design on the back of the leaflet.
I also bought the new Old Glory design by LHN but I think it got shuffled into my mom's stash enhancement so I don't have a photo of it.  Cute design I fully intended to start up there but I forgot to pick up the threads and never made it back to the shop.

While I was away - more stash arrived in the mail.  This is a counted canvas project by Laura J Perrin, simply called Red White and Blue panel.  This was my first purchase ever from Nordic Needle, a DF of mine orders from them all the time so I gave it a plunge and also got the canvas and specialty threads for it.

I promised in the past blog post I would show you my choice for Camp Loopy 2 - here is Faithful Beauty - Bugga by Verdant Gryphon .  If you are not a knitter this will be greek to you but that is the color and type of yarn.  My project is called Vampyre, the color is a very deep red with darker reddish maroon.  I sure have got to put the turbo needles to work to get this done before the end of July.  I thought vacation would benefit me but I just never had time to knit.  My parents kept us on the go the whole time, their idea of vacation is GO GO GO and mine is let's just sit and relax !

I promised a finish photo of my Camp Loopy 1 project.  Here is Metallurgy and I was very pleased with the project.  It was worked in Shalimar Breathless fingering and see that little string up there - that is all the yarn I had left after binding off - WHEW!!!  what a nail biter that finish was.  Besides being down to the wire time wise - I was running out of yarn.  I really wanted to finish this so I didn't have to drag that project on vacation with me and I accomplished my goal - YEAH!!!!!!!!
 

Here is a close up of the bear of a border.  It was a 44 row repeat and in the beginning - I had a heck of a time getting the rhythm of the pattern.  Finally about 1/2 way thru the border I was able to pick up speed but I had to keep very careful row notes.  The color is beautiful, blues, browns and creams.  
 
Well friends - thanks for sticking with me thru the family vacation photos and so forth.  I hope all my blog friends in the US had a great 4th of July celebration and that you are still enjoying your weekend and able to put in a few stitches along the way.  Thanks for visiting and for your comments, I love hearing from you. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

JUNE JAUNTS

Good day friends!  June is rolling right along with yesterday being the first day of summer.  We were lucky enough to spend a wonderful 3 day weekend at St Augustine Beach.  We usually go every year and every year it is different and special.  This year it was extremely hot - yesterday when we got in our car to go and eat lunch it was 96 and the "feels like temp" was 103.  That is HOT even for Florida but there was a nice ocean breeze blowing.

Here is the view down the beach to the north from our front balcony.  At least you can see the beautiful clear day.

Here is a view from our balcony and the pool area.  We don't go in the pool here because we have a pool of our own and you get spoiled with your own pool.   But it is a lovely pool area and lots of people and kids were loving it.

Here is a recent finish of "Snowed in" one of the 6 Snowmen from Lizzie * Kate.  It is my "work" project - not that I can stitch at work but I do come in a lot on the weekend to attend to after hours things and sometimes I can snatch a stitch or two.

Here is the two together and next up is Snow Friends in the middle.  This is on 28ct R&R Antique Cotton.  A large count so I can see at work without my prescription stitching glasses.  It's a cutesy piece - not my typical stitching fare but I think they are really cute and easy stitching.

This is my Metallurgy progress so far.  WOW - I only have 8 days left to complete my Camp Loopy #1 project.  I'm sure those of you who read my blog regularly know that every summer I participate in the Camp Loopy projects with The Loopy Ewe.  I have a group of local friends who all participate and we have a great time cheering each other on and helping each other get to the finish line.  The CL #2 yarn has already arrived - dang I should have taken a photo but I'll wait until I show you my finished Metallurgy - Yes I'm being super optimistic because my BFF Henri says if I remain calm and knit on I can finish.  I will have to say it is a much more demanding pattern that I usually pick for CL projects but I did not do my homework before picking the pattern.  I just loved it and ordered it up.  It's not that I can't do it but it's the "doing it fast" part that I am having problems with.  It is a 44 row repeat on the border and it requires my full attention and I have done a lot of tinking back of those border stitches when I frequently mess up.  Oh well - it will be nice when I finish.
 
Hope all of you are having lovely first days of summer wherever you are and whatever you are working on.  Thanks for visiting and commenting - I do love hearing from you all.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

JuJuJuJUNE ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO I can't be the second week of June already - I wish I could slow things down.  No matter how hard I try to change my routine, change my priorities, change up my stitching habits - I can't make more time.  If any of you figure out how please share.

We've been having some fun this summer so far.  The end of May we went to the St Augustine Amphitheatre and saw a great concert.  Don Felder of Eagles fame opened the show and wow it was like being at an Eagles Concert.  We had awesome seats as you can see - center and not too far from the stage.  The only drawback was it was HOT HOT HOT .  Don Felder was amazing and on his final song he was joined on stage by Tommy Shaw STYX fame to help with the leads on Hotel California - It was chilling to be sure.  So enjoyed that !!!!!!!!!!!

 Not sure how I got the B&W option turned on but here is Don Felder on the left and Tommy Shaw center stage.  I'm glad I got this shot - by the time STYX came on stage the sold out crowd was getting really raucous and standing up a lot and I never could get a good shot of them.
At first we were very disappointed because Mick Jones was not performing with Foreigner - the second band but apparently he has not been well but he joined them on stage for the last 1/2 of the show.  They did a great job I thought doing a lot of their old hits.

 
Off to my needlework world - I have deemed Wednesday night "needlepoint night" at my house.  As I said before - I am trying new tricks to get more productivity out of myself.  This is my oldest np WIP - it is done except for the backround and border.  It is all Paternayan wool in tent and basketweave.  Yes some of you will be shrieking in horror but I love wool - Hence the "woolwoman" nickname and I love this Rosalie canvas.  I remember the shop where I purchased it - It was on vacation one summer - I still have the receipt in the bag so I know the year and when I finish it - I will report the start and finish date and give you all hope for your UFO's.  This will be made into a cushion and will fit well in either my guest bedroom or my master bedroom.  I also have a number of other np WIP's I want to finish in my lifetime but for now this is my Wed. night focus .

Know what time it is ???? It's Camp Loopy time with The Loopy Ewe. This will be my 3rd year participating in Camp Loopy.  For those who don't know what it is - Sheri- the owner gives you one month to complete a project of your choosing.  Most of the time she sets requirements such as with CL #1 - you had to use at least 400 yards of yarn, if you buy from her - she gives you a discount and if you post your finish on her website by the deadline - you are one step closer to finishing summer camp and getting a prize.  It's so much fun and I am being joined by 3 of my knitting buddies this summer - Henri, Starr and Karen who all participated last year.  I think I mentioned last year - we all finished and I think we knitted an astounding 15 thousand yards of yarn among 5 of us last summer.
 

Anyone recognize this pretty lady.  Another WIP which happens to be on my EGA chapter challenge list for 2014.  It is Garden Glade by CHS.  I am using the Attic conversion however I changed the two main colors you see here .  The red and the green in the leaves I changed from Belle Soie to Gloriana.  I hope to be devoting more time to this pretty piece so I can have it as a challenge finish. 

I have also vowed to try and post more often.  Lots of people say FB is causing people to not post to blogs as much but I still think blogs are more personal.  They give bloggers and their followers a chance to connect more than FB.  I love looking thru the photos on FB but I rarely post and mostly just click like.  On blogs - you get to connect with your followers, lots of whom become friends and there was a question on another friends blog about sending a return email when followers comment on your blog.  I love hearing from you and I always try and send a return email.  I think it makes an important connection.  So please do take a minute and leave a comment - I read them all and love having you here.  I just June is just as slow as you want it to be.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

MARVELOUS MAY

OK - not really - I'm being very cheery with my blog title considering I've not been to visit since March.  I don't know why I keep putting off doing a post.  I will try to do better. 

Recently I went to a wonderful retreat put on by the Sun Region EGA which was held in Crystal River , home of the manatees.  It was attended by about 90 women and it was wonderful !

I tried to focus all my stitching time on my Snooty Parrots - Yes friends I do still stitch !!!!!!!!!!  I just don't get much done.  I am behind on my monthly assignments.  Sadly I found a mistake back in March and had to pull out the entire top border of this sampler.  That set me behind but I am rolling along now.  Actually I have completed the strawberry border and started on the lower case alphabet in the next row. 
 Here is some shots from the Stitching on the River retreat.  Here is the Plantation Inn - beautiful old inn - lovely landscaping.
They had all sorts of cool activities set up - opportunity baskets to bid on with great goodies, manatee downs (it was Derby Day so we had mint juleps and derby pie too!) a fun race with these cute wooden manatees.  I won a race on #1 Ms Knot Fairy and she came home with me - I won her in an auction and DF Carol also won a manatee for her very own.

 
Here are all my DF's and fellow duClay Chapter Members at our stitching table.  JoyceAnne is next to me and I am behind Carol and Kris is to the left of Carol.

 
This was our tranquil view of the small inlet leading to Crystal River.  I regret I didn't schedule a boat ride but it rained off and on for the first two days so it was messy.  I heard there was manatee sightings in the canals but I didn't see any myself.
 
All in all it was a great experience.  My first EGA Sun Region event and I am already excited about attending the SR seminar next May in Orlando.  Why not come and join the fun???

 
Yes yes I know - this is a glimpse of my long suffering oldest rug hooking project - a large 3ft X 5ft rug - I promise and pinky swear it will be done in 2014 if it kills me.  It is so close to being done - just maybe 10 hours - why can't I buckle down and get it done (sigh) - Now it is getting summer and hot weather and I do less rug hooking in the summer but I vow to get it done.
 
Hope all is well with you all and that you haven't given up on me.  I enjoy your comments - please do know that I read every one and love hearing from you.  I have you are also having a "marvelous May"