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" 

Friday, March 28, 2014

MARCH-ING ONWARD

Well March is marching onward.  I can't say I have a lot of progress on anything to show you but I did make my annual trek to Sebring with my mom for the Scrub Rug Hooking workshop.  This is about the 10th year I have attended and it is always a great retreat and get away.  Everything is so tropical in that area of the state.  I can't believe I didn't take a single photo of the beautiful landscaping and flowers.  If you are interested in seeing what it looks like - just check my blog post from March last year.  One reason I didn't take any photos this year is because there was thousands of these creepy little bugs that covered everything outside, plants, cars, buildings, people.  Someone called them blind mosquitos and someone else called them mayflies.  I wasn't familiar with them nor did I relish running into clouds of them so I spent very little time on the lovely patio and pool side this year.

We started off our trip to Sebring by stopping off in Mt Dora to visit with friends who stitch every Thursday in this charming farmhouse owned by the city of Mt Dora.  How cool is that !  lunch at the fabulous Garden Gate tearoom, it was a delightful way to spend a day.
 
We motored on from there to Sebring and settled in with a nice meal at the hotel restaurant.
 
Mom and I were both in Katie Puckett's class.  Katie is a dear friend and lives in our area , she is also an awesome dyer, designer and certified McGown teacher.  I had chosen a HUGE rug canvas months ago after being enchanted with Basque Fairy Tale by Michele Micarelli in the ATHA rug magazine.  Katie was kind enough (seriously was that kindness??) to bring the canvas back for me after meeting Michele at a camp in Michigan where she was vending this past summer. 

I had wanted to try hooking with dip dyes and this rug seemed like the perfect opportunity.  You can't see much of the intensity of the colors in these less than stellar photos but she used 3 different dip dyes for that corner motif that extends to the bottom of the rug.

I wanted the two birds in the middle to be more of a focal point than they were in Michele's rug.  Again more dips were used. These birds have a rather Aztec type look to me - The reason there is a hole in the wing is because I am waiting for more wool to be dyed to place there.  It will be a brilliant spot dye and will be used in the outer border and a few other places in the rug.

It's hard to tell scope but this is 1/2 of the rug - it is 25" X 86" - hope I live long enough to finish it LOL - It will certainly be an ongoing project for years but I adore what has been done so far and I will enjoy working on this project with my DF Katie.

This is my mom's rug from class.  She had a ball working on those chickens.  Katie showed her a new way to do stars and she did a great job on them.  This is a Polly Minick canvas but Katie drew it off for mom and also did the color plan.  The blocks in the border will be scrappy blocks, good way to use up worms and small pieces of wool.  She did finish up #2 chicken so she doesn't have a hole in her wing like I do.
 
well friends - just wanted to show you what we had been up to lately.  I have more photos to show of my classmates projects as well as some of the rugs from the exhibit.  I will try to make another post of those photos soon. 
 
Until we meet again my friends, thank you for visiting my blog, for commenting and for following along.  I hope spring has sprung in your area and that you have fun with your needles and hooks this weekend.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

FINALLY TA DA !!!!!!!!!!!

I had not wanted to show you my wedding sampler until it was finished and framed. 

Today is the day of the big reveal - well it's a big day to me anyway - It takes me forever to finish anything to the point of framing. 

Here are a few shots

 
Sorry about the glare !  I was trying to get enough light on it.

The sampler is I Thee Wed by Blackbird Designs and it stitched on 36ct R&R kona with the called for overdyed cottons.

I think the frame moulding is beautiful and the choice of mats and the way the framer used a continuous mat to "join together" the wedding photo and the sampler was really pleasing - to me anyway !

 
Here is a shot of my favorite wedding photo from the whole group.

 
A closer look at the moulding - it has an antique finish and really pulled out the colors in the sampler and the photo.
 
Hope you enjoyed seeing my big reveal, it was special to me to see it finally come together.
 
Thanks as always for visiting my blog and leaving your comments - I always enjoy hearing from you.  I see I have a few new followers - thanks for coming by and hearing my wooley-thoughts.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

IT'S MARCH BUT IT'S NOT SPING !

Mr. Snowman is still standing strong .  He is there in honor of all my blog friends who are still in the throes of winter weather.  Even way down here in the deep south - we have liquid snow and chilly conditions.  I did get to dust off my sandals last weekend but it was more of a statement than a necessity - It's March 1st dang it - I'm ready for a change in my wardrobe !!!!!!!!!!

I can't believe that the entire month of February went by and I didn't make a post.  Well dear blog friends - I always feel like I need to show some finishes, some photos or at least some progress.  I did do some knitting in January and February - finished a beautiful 4 color cowl during these months.

For any interested knitters out there - it was printed in the winter Knit Simple mag and I used a new to me yarn Universal Deluxe Worsted.  Gray was my main color with the cream, rosy red and avocado green.  It is quite long and can be doubled to be worn up around the neck and yes I have had a chance to wear it.
 
The Loopy Ewe has issued their Spring challenge and I have accepted the challenge.  It was such an easy one - knit anything you want at least 250 yards and finish by the end of March to get your bonus points. My chosen project is WAY more than 250 yards - it is about 740 yards of beautiful Three Irish Girls Glenhaven Fingering.  The turquoise and the unwound skein is going to be Different Lines .  A lovely pattern by Veera.  Here is a Ravelry link if you want to see it :  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/different-lines
My DF Henri is also knitting in the Spring challenge and her yarn is the lovely tan with colored specs.  She is making Knit Night and we enjoyed our time together at Starbucks getting the challenge going.
 
I always hook a lot in the winter - or try to hook a lot.  Recently I had 4 days of hooking bliss.  Starting off attending a hook-in at the Ocala Rug Guild in Wildwood FL - it was great !  The ladies in the area provided lunch for everyone - what a great spread of food.  I do have photos of their awesome rug display but I will have to try and post them later.  I am still fumbling thru loading my photos into Picassa - they seem to land in Google + and then I struggle and struggle to get them into Picassa - sheesh  - it shouldn't be this hard.  However I do have photos of my Angel Runner after 4 days of progress on it.  This poor rug has not been touched since last January.  I was running out of backround and I waited for 10 mos to get more backround.  I am glad to be in the home stretch on this rug.  I would say I probably only have 1/4 of the backround left and then it's all but the binding left to do.
I love these 6 crazy angels.  Not much left to go.  For anyone interested - this is a Bea Brock pattern. It is hooked with a 3, 4 and 5 cut, all hand dyed wool.
This is my mom's beautiful art deco flower canvas.  She hooked for two days of that 4 day marathon and she made great progress.  Almost finishing her outer border and filling in lots of backround.  I think this canvas is going to be a big throw pillow.

Nothing to show on the stitching scene.  Sadly - I am just not getting that much stitching done lately.  I am still working on the FB SAL Snooty Parrots but am way behind.  I did take in something for framing that I have never shown on my blog so that will be fun to have a big reveal in the very near future.   I also started a new fun piece of needlepoint and am enjoying working on that.  All the different fibers you can use in np just excite me and I have a great stash of stuff to pull from as well.

Well blog friends - I've rambled on long enough - I promise to be back again soon.  Until then - stay safe and warm and keep those needles and hooks moving.  With warm and wooly-thoughts  . . .