Tuesday, September 01, 2015

SUDDENLY SEPTEMBER !

Tried my best to make this post yesterday while it was still August.  I was actually ready to bid farewell to August.  I had some fun in August with a vacation to the Smoky mountains in Tenn. and my mom's birthday to celebrate and a partial rug hooking workshop.  I'll highlight some of the fun in photos for you.

This is Peace and Plenty - A Not Forgotten Farm design.  I had started it years ago and lost some of the wool when we moved.  I also found out the bird was a distelfink not a turkey and my whole color plan fell apart.  It was rolled up and put in the wool cupboard for years.  I really got a nice boost from Carrie Martin at a recent rug workshop.  I rehooked all the tail feathers, started the bird body and hooked the sunflower which I like very much.  The squirrel, urn and Plenty was hooked in a prior workshop.  I will now be able to happily continue on with it.  I got a lot done in 1 day, I was leaving to go on vacation so I missed 2/3 of the workshop.

This is my Old Glory finish - It was a SAL on FB with the LHN group.  It was the patriotic SAL which bled over into the summer SAL.  Just no time for stitching this summer because all my spare time was taken up with Camp Loopy knitting challenges.

Here is my beautiful perch on the balcony at the condo in Tenn.  This is where I put the last stitches in Old Glory.

Gorgeous view of the Smoky mountain range  - Wish I was there now.  We actually didn't sit on the balcony much.  It rained a lot but at least it was a break from the oppressive heat and humidity we've had in NE FL this year.

Here is my dear ones at the Apple Barn.  See the beautiful apple tree and barn in the background.  Always have to pay a visit to this place and pick up some jellies, jams and apple BBQ sauce. oh and fried apple hand pies. 

This wool pincushion was a "taste of " wool applique project in our duClay EGA chapter .
It was led by my DF Katie and each pin cushion was completely different.  Almost all 16 people left that day with a completed pincushion.  DF Becky made the beautiful beaded pins for each chapter member to adorn their pincushion.  We have some great gals in our group, so giving and so willing to share.

I have a love/hate relationship with this project.  This is an early photo of my Camp Loopy project for August.  This is the beauty that killed me and kept me from finishing my 3rd Camp Loopy in  a row.  My other friends all finished theirs and August just didn't go my way.  This was a beautiful well written pattern by Laura Aylor called Woods in Winter.  You might not can see too well but the whole border has a row of staggered leaves.  It is a 37 row repeat and every single row is different.  I had to use highlighter tape and still mark every row.  I did not mess up but it became apparent after vacation I was in danger of not finishing but I kept pressing myself to stay on task.  some nights a row or two was all I could muster and this past week, there were several nights no progress was made at all.  The outcome was eminent - I was not going to finish this year.  I was very disappointed but I have decided what is past is past and I'm ready for some fun fall stitching and hooking.  I'm going to give this project a rest for a while and pick up my Sailing KAL - I'll show a photo next time of the gorgeous bright blue yarn I purchased from the designer down under.

Here's my dearest buddy after having lunch one day on vacation.

He wanted to stop by a stream on the way home but it was too slippery and too steep for him to get down in the water.
 
I hope to come back more often, I see more and more people not posting to their blogs any more. I enjoy mine and I enjoy yours too.  Thanks as always for visiting and commenting.  Hope you have a simply marvelous September !

Friday, July 31, 2015

SAILING THRU SUMMER

Again - I am struggling to make a post on the last day of the month.  July is gone and I can't say I'm sorry to see it go.  My MIL passed away several weeks ago and my DH has been taking the loss pretty hard.  To make matters worse - on the day of her funeral - my 50 year old co-worker had a heart attack.  Thankfully he was able to get treatment and surgery and is recovering well and came back to work this week.  In the interim - I have been trying to keep his work afloat as well as my own.  It has not been the easiest time I've ever had but so much to be thankful for and I am thankful !

On to what little bit of fun I've had in July.  Most of my needlework endeavors have centered around getting my project for Camp Loopy 2 completed.  I did complete with a week to spare. 

This is Nangou - I used 4 different colors of Shibui Staccato fingering weight yarn.  I have used this yarn before and I enjoyed both the pattern and the yarn.  The challenge this month was a minimum of 600 yards and mine should be a little over 600 yards.


 my next challenge for Camp Loopy 3 is this Mrs Crosby Hat Box - lovely Sport weight yarn.  I am doing a design called the Woods in Winter by Laura Aylor - the challenge for August is the hardest - for me anyway - it is a minimum of 800 yards in your project.  Every year I have trouble meeting this challenge but having pretty yarn helps.  I hope this pattern wont be too difficult - I usually go with a very easy pattern for the last challenge.
There's been a little needlepoint here and there but certainly not much time for that.  Here is a my first club piece in the series called Fanciful forest by Pippin Studios.  It is an exclusive for the Needlepointer shop out in Washington state.   I fell in love with the simplicity of Pippin designs after I saw several of them on shop blogs after the big winter needlepoint market.  As usual I am very behind and I have 4 trees stacked up but this first one is enjoyable and easy to pick up and put down and right now - it is all the brain power I can devote to np.

This is a combo shot.  It is a photo of my LHN Old Glory piece.  It was a LHN FB SAL with Vonna's group but I missed the deadline of 7/4 for completing.  So .....   There is still Labor Day and if I don't get too itchy for fall stuff before then - I will keep trying to finish this piece.  Problem is  - I don't allow myself much stitching time at all when I am supposed to be dedicating all my free time to Camp Loopy projects.

Oh and that beautiful blue yarn just winged it's way to my mailbox last night from the land down under.  Atelier in Australia is the hand dyer of this lovely yarn.  MORE BLUE - what is the world coming to.  I am working on another of Meg's designs called Big Blue and it is lovely blue yarn too.  This beautiful yarn is for a KAL that just started in July on another of Meg's designs I fell in love with called Sailing. Hence the blog title - and the name of my new project "Come Sail Away" one of my favorite STYX songs.  Meg also dyes yarn and this is White Gum DK - I discovered/remembered when I got this yarn and saw the needle size recommended that apparently in some countries - DK = our worsted or maybe a light worsted if there is such a thing.  Anyway - I couldn't wait to cast on and give it a try and start the Sailing KAL.  It is lovely yarn and an interesting pattern which I am enjoying so far.
 
Not much to report in the rug hooking world - I am still working a little on my bunny runner and my patriotic Uncle Sam hat canvas.  I am looking forward to a rug hooking workshop in 2 weeks with Carrie Martin - A national teacher from Louisiana.  I will be revisiting a Not Forgotten Farm pattern called Peace and Plenty.  I need to rework the distelfink on the pattern and this is a good time to do that. 
 
Hope you are all "sailing thru summer" in grand style.  Doing whatever makes you happy whether it's vacationing in your favorite spot, staycationing at home, I hope you have time to pick up a needle or two and make some happiness in your hands.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

LAST HOURS OF JUNE

Once again - I'm shocked that so much time has elapsed between blog posts.  I didn't want to let June go by without documenting a few things on my needlework journey.  Of course there is more stitching that was done.  My poor LHN Old Glory which was a FB SAL with the Little House Needlework group almost bit the dust.  I discovered a pretty serious error that required pulling out the whole bottom half of the piece.  So I just put on my big girl panties and ripped it all out and I'm back on track now.  Maybe I'll pop in with a patriotic post this weekend and show you my progress.

We had our annual trip to St Augustine Beach.  I had an "almost Vonna" encounter.  We were SOOO close to each other.  She even told me where they were having lunch in St Augustine but we were at the beach and they were in town.  Oh well - maybe one day we'll meet down in my neck of the woods.
Here is a cloudy after rain photo of our view of the pool and beach.

Here is my perch on the balcony where I tried to do some stitching and knitting.  It was WAY too hot.  Even for this Florida girl - The np piece is by Ruth Schmuff - a class I took at the Black Sheep.  So cute and such a fun summer piece.

Here is the first Camp Loopy finish.  It is Melodia - a shawl - it needs to be blocked so the eyelets open up and the edging might behave better too.  I had to get a photo done and put up on The Loopy Ewe.  I've been doing a lot of work travel so I was happy to finish this a week ahead of the deadline which is today.  I've done Camp Loopy for several years now with a group of friends called the Bee Eyes.  So far we are all on track - YEAH!!!!!!!!! 

This luscious selection is for Camp Loopy 2 which starts TOMORROW or maybe at midnight should I still be up.  It is usually so exciting I need to get a few stitches on the needle at midnight.

Last but not least is my patriotic rug by Polly Minick of Minick & Simpson fame.  This is from one of Polly's books, sorry I can't remember which and I just call it the Uncle Sam hat.  It is a good rug to work on at guild meetings because there is SO much mindless background to be done.  I don't mind backgrounds - they are necessary and they can certainly make or break you rug in my opinion.  So careful attention to the background is something I have learned from several teachers one of which is Polly.  I love Polly's style.
 
Well friends - I hope summer is treating you well and I hope all of you in the US are looking forward to a great 4th of July celebration.  Hope you find some time with your needle and hook.
LET FREEDOM  RING !!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

JUST ANOTHER BAND OUT OF BOSTON

Memorial Day has come and gone, like someone said yesterday on Facebook - it's not all about BBQ's and boating.  I hope you remembered all those who gave everything for our freedom and said a prayer for those today - in our time who are still trying to protect our country and our liberties that so many sacrificed so much to preserve in generations past.

I have a few shots from our hook in last weekend to show.  I did plenty of socializing - I don't know why I didn't take more photos than I did.   However if you pop over to my friend Karen's blog over at Shady Hill Rug Hooking , she did a great post with photos of our hook in and she even got a good shot of my Antique Blue Basket rug. For some reason there wasn't much of a display of finishes this time.  As always we had a great time and we had a big crowd this time from all over north and central florida which is the way it should be at an annual event.

This is a beautiful little design that my mom hooked.  It was color planned by Vivily Powers and it hooked mostly with a 6cut.  It is a Susan Feller design but I don't remember the name of it.  I love the simplistic stylized look and my mom did a great job.  It is going to be made into a pillow so once that happens - I will show how it finished out.


This is probably the last photo you will see of the tangled bunny tote for a long time.   At least I got the bunny finished at the hook in and started putting in some of the dark maroon backround, you can see that under the bunny's belly.  Now it's time to put bunnies away and get out my patriotic rug for summer.  I have a ton left to do on my Polly Uncle Sam piece so it won't be finished in 2015 but I'll show you a progress shot in June.
I'd like to introduce you to my Bee Eyes - my buds who I knit with among many other things, we're all "hookers" too. Fortunately we were all at the hook in with our choices in hand for the upcoming Camp Loopy summer season of knitting.  In my last post I gave you a link to the Loopy Ewe - the shop who puts this event on every year.  There's still time to get your yarn from Loopy Ewe and get started on a project by June 1st.  From left to right - DF Karen, me, DF Starr and last but certainly not least on the far right is DF Henri.  As you can see - we are very happy to BEE again this summer.

DH and I were very excited to be seeing one of our favorite bands right in our area this past weekend.
Yes I'm talking about Boston !

Fans of Boston will recognize this as their long time logo - the bands name in the shape of a spaceship.  A number of their album (showing my age) covers used this logo. I'm glad they still honor it although it is updated from the 70's.

Here is the great Tom Scholz.  Founder, front man and creative genius behind Boston.
Brad Delp singer and co-founder died a few years back, so that is a sad loss but the new singer does an admirable job.  Here is what google says about Tom Scholz:
"Tom" Scholz is an American rock musician, inventor, engineer, and philanthropist, best known as the founder of the band Boston. He is also the inventor of the Rockman guitar amplifier.
That is Tom pictured on the big screen.

 One of the many amazing shots during one of their songs.  can't believe my little I phone did so well
We don't go to many concerts any more - ticket prices are mostly outrageous and most of our faves, we've seen before.  Going to this little small amphitheater over on the coast in St Augustine FL is one of our favorite venues.  It's small and intimate you can see that we had dead center seats.  There really isn't a bad seat in the house.  It was a beautiful night for the end of May, cool breezes blowing and after a lovely shrimp dinner at our favorite seafood restaurants - it was a rockin' good time with Boston.  At our age and the age of the bands we love - we enjoy every show like it might be the last.
Not much else to show but I hope to have more in the next post.  I just started a patriotic SAL on the Little House Needlework Facebook group led by Vonna of the Twisted Stitcher blog.  Vonna is a great cheerleader and I jumped right in on Old Glory.  Had the chart and linen and most of the threads I needed to get started.  I should be able to juggle that small piece along with Camp Loopy.  Hope you all enjoy the last week of May to the fullest.  Thanks as always for visiting my blog and for commenting.  I enjoy reading them all and hearing from you.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

MOTHERS AND MAY

I hope all my blog friends had a wonderful Mothers Day, celebrating with family and/or friends who might be mothers.  I'm not a mom but I had a wonderful weekend with my own dear mom.  We attended the EGA meeting and stitch in on Saturday and went to brunch with my DH prior. 

Sunday my folks and I went to the beautiful picturesque Club Continental on the St Johns River for brunch.  It is a private club, an old estate home that the Palmolive Soap family built back in the early 1920's.  We love going there for special occasions and Mothers Day with my dear mom is certainly a special occasion.
I wish my dad had gotten more of the lovely fountain but I got it in my shot of them.  My DH was sick and didn't make it for brunch.

 I'm schlepping along on the Laura J Perrin np piece.  I had a counting error but am back on track - just hadn't had much time to work on it.
I had bigger fish to fry so to speak.  I found out my DF Linda's daughter and only grandbaby were coming to Florida to visit.  The sweet little baby girl and I share the same birthday so I wanted to make her something special for her birthday.  The little dress is a Knitbot pattern called Sweet Pleats.  You can't see my pleats (shoot I might have the taken the back of the dress) but I'll have to say they were sure fussy to make.  The dress is made out of worsted weight linen from Quince and Co. - Kestrel in the color sand.  I presented the gift today and both mom and grandmother were so pleased.  Now I am praying it fits over the baby's head (sigh) !  What I know about babies - you could store in a thimble.

Guess what time it is ??????  It's almost Camp Loopy time.  Yes that annual mad knitting scramble to complete a designated project in a 1 month time period.  Three projects in the good ole summertime.
A local group of friends - we call ourselves the Bee Eyes (you know BI - bad influence) and we have been knitting together for Camp Loopy for a few summers now.  Here is my first choice for June.
Sheri the owner of the Loopy Ewe  sets the parameters for each month.  This year we are all going on a virtual safari and the projects will all have something to do with, the first project has to have a minimum of 400 yards of any type, weight yarn.  It has to be something that invokes visions of a safari to you.  My choice is Fable Fibers Story, I have some in stash but have never knit with this yarn before.  If at all possible - I try to use a new-to-me yarn for Camp Loopy every summer.  Sheri give s nice discount if you order yarn for camp and if you complete all 3 projects she gives a nice bonus skein of yarn in the fall.

 
So - there is not really much new in my world.  I have been stitching some but not enough to show any progress photos.  I am close to being done with LHN Queen of Hearts but decided to just wait and show a finish photo.
 
Hope everything is right in your world and you are looking ahead to living easy in the good ole summertime!

Friday, April 10, 2015

APRIL ALREADY !

 
 
Seems like I am always bemoaning how fast time flies by.  Here it is April 10th already and my birthday is looming in the not too distant future.  You know what they say "Another year older and what have you done"?  I actually think that is a line from a John Lennon song I always found to be sad.  Well - here is one thing done!  the first in the LHN Sampler tree ornament series expertly and creatively finished by Faye over at Carolina Stitcher.  Faye can work magic with anything you send her.  I just gave her free rein to do anything she wanted on finishing this ornament and she did a beautiful job.  Sorry about the lack of detail but all the designers say not to show big photos where their work can be copied and plagiarized.  The ornament is sitting on a new prim project bag Faye also made me with fabric I provided - a Moda line but I don't remember the name.  Beautifully done Faye, I can't wait to get more ornaments done to send to her. 
 
 
 Here is the back of the ornament - look at the sweet little wool heart she appliqued on the back.  Such lovely special touches from Faye's imagination.
 Can't remember if I showed this Laura J Perrin needlepoint piece before or not.  It is a SAL in our duClay EGA chapter.  I am farther along than this but didn't have a recent photo and needed more blog fodder for this post.  This is a freebie on the Rainbow Gallery website and uses only 4 of their threads.  I had never used Neon Rays + before and I have to say I like it very much.  It' is finished with some bead accents as well.
Here is another photo of my oldest rug WIP - Bunnies at Play -  A heavily altered Warren Kimble design.  Check my previous blog post if you want more detail.  I am still working on the "dirt" border and digging up some carrots.  I am still thrilled at how amazing this wool is for the "dirt" and carrots.  Dianne Kelly really did a super job on this color plan and I think I said before this was her very first camp teaching assignment and my very first "away" camp.  We have enjoyed each other many times since then and I am delighted to call Dianne my friend.  I have moved on to the other side of the rug and my 3rd and final bunny.  Who knows - 2015 just might be the year it is finally finished!
In the springtime - I love to get out all my bunnies and spring things.  Here is another canvas that my friend Katie Puckett drew for me and Dianne Kelly color planned.  It is a tangled bunny tote - that is my name for the canvas - it doesn't have a name but he is running thru a tangle of wonderful paisley vines, I have some green put in on the other end - too bad my photo just focuses on the bunny but isn't he sweet.  I think I can finish up the bunny in another sitting.  He can stay out and play for a while longer but soon - all the patriotic things will come out and the bunnies will go to sleep for the hot summer season.
I can't believe I didn't get a WIP photo of my LHN Queen of Hearts - The queen finally has a head, I am back on the checkerboard and I am seriously thinking of cutting it off there.  I'm not sure I need the wording to make my world complete.  http://www.classiccolorworks.com/patterns.html
Here's the photo - what do you think ?  I guess without the wording - it might not be apparent who this lovely queen is so maybe I better include the wording and the bottom border.  I've already been collaborating with Faye about finishing for this one too so I'm anxious to finish.  I see this as a seasonal piece for February so I am just not interested in spending the money for that lovely frame.
 
Hope to come back here to see you all again soon.  Just have to give a welcome to my new followers - I appreciate you one and all and I love hearing your comments too !

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

MARCH MAYHEM !!!

It's been exactly one month today since I posted on my blog.  Dear friends are you still with me ?

I hope so - my blog title sounds somewhat ominous but it's just because we had some drama around the old homestead yesterday.  We had two huge 70ft laurel oak trees taken out of our yard.  I hated to do it - they were beautiful and so tall and majestic but one arborist had told us they were at the end of their lifespan and needed to come down.  It was very disconcerting after they took them down to discover they were in very good shape internally.  Made me want to cry actually and while I get annoyed at the squirrels - I did feel sorry for them as they scurried around the yard looking like they had lost their house and home and indeed they have.  Before you think ill of me for deforesting my yard - we have 11 more of these huge oaks on our lot so there is plenty of places for squirrels and birds and other wildlife to hunt, play and so forth.

I updated my blog face with my very oldest rug WIP - it is Bunnies at Play adapted from Warren Kimble and is a Woolly Fox design.  Probably isn't even available any more. 

I included another shot so you can see the border which is black like dirt and has carrots growing in it.  You can see by looking at this bunny that it is a beginners attempt at rug hooking.  I look at it now and somewhat cringe - I would never hook a bunny like that now - what is that black thing?  is that his poor foot - shoot!  I thought about pulling out the bunnies but I knew if I started tearing out - it would surely never ever get done.  It was very long about 72" x 16" and I already had 2 of the 5 bunnies cut out.  I want to finish this rug because it has special sentimental meaning to me.  It was my first "away" rug camp.  Castle in the Clouds which is no more, it was my first class with Dianne Kelly who has done many wonderful rugs for me in the years following this one and it was also significant because it was Dianne's first teaching assignment.
This was a very plain boring rug - Dianne drew every one of those abstract cabbages in the backround and while I am not totally pleased with the bunnies, there are some elements of the rug I really do love.

Here is my dear mom with a sampler she finished for our EGA chapter challenge last year.  It recently came back from the framer and I think it's just wonderful !!!!!!!!!!

It is Forget Me Not by Needlework Press and is a repro sampler. I don't think much was known about the samplermaker.  It is stitched with the called for Belle Soie silks and is done on hand dyed aida - the framing is just lovely.  Our framer did a great job suggesting a frame and the blue inner frame (not sure what that technique is called) really set it off.  Congrats Mom - another beauty for your sampler wall.

Here is that huge tree being cut - notice it is inches from our house - they used a bucket to make the cuts and then a crane - yes a real crane to haul out the humongous pieces.

So sad to see all this beautiful wood piles on our lawn waiting for pickup by the tree company.  That concludes the March mayhem at my house.  Hopeful there will be no more mayhem.
One final shot for this post - these are DF's Carol and Ellen (of With My Needle fame) as we hurried around Eustis FL on the coldest day of the year in NE FL.  Ellen was down in our area last month to deal with a family emergency.  I was so thankful she could take a day of respite to spend with friends that meet weekly in Mt Dora to stitch.  These are the times that are so special - the times you will never forget as our lives change sometimes forever.  I always say - never pass up an opportunity because you may never go that way again.  If I don't make it here again my friends - I hope you all have the blessings and bunnies at Easter time.