Thursday, February 07, 2019

FICKLE FEBRUARY

Good day blog friends !

I say "fickle" because we've had the coldest weather this winter in February and now back to record highs again.  I know I know - it is Florida and many of my northern and Midwestern friends would scoff at my complaining after the record bearing winter you've had to suffer with.  Well I always seem to start my blog with weather reports but I really wanted to report on Off the Ocean rug camp.

This was the 20th year of OTO.  It started off in 1999 as On the Ocean and was held at Atlantic Beach.  As it turns out there are 2 teachers and 2 students who have attended all 20 of these rug camps.  My DF Annie T, teachers Sibyl Osika and Diane Stoffel and the director Katie Puckett.  Katie's mom Judy Colley who is now suffering with Alzheimers started this camp and they co-directed up until about 5 years ago.  Such a sad and horrific disease.

So I once again was in Diane's class.  I saw this rug on Facebook and you could order the paper pattern thru Etsy.  I'm sorry - I don't remember the name of the designer.  I'm afraid camp didn't  go too well for me this year.  It started on Friday night and that went well, Saturday was good but by Sunday I wasn't feeling quite right.  I thought I had a sinus problem because my face was hurting, also my jaw in that area.  By Monday I was hurting more and decided OH SHOOT - maybe it's that tooth the dentist said 2 years ago I needed a root canal.  Called the dentist office and no answer.  Monday night was hateful - didn't sleep much and was taking motrin for the pain and swelling but by Tues that wasn't even touching the pain.  Got a dental appt. for Wed. so I went over to class on Tues (yes thankfully it's a local camp for me) and I tried real hard to work and focus but I was just in so much pain I packed up all my stuff and I was out of there. 

So here is the very cool Alice in Wonderland rug and her falling down the rabbit hole.  When I left camp I had very little done - actually I got more done than I would have thought considering how I was feeling.  This rug is wool all dyed by Diane.  It is mostly in a 4 cut for my rug hooking friends and there is quite a bit of 3 for small detail.  The rug is 24" X 36" on linen backing.

I'm sorry I didn't stick around for our class "thrown down" - It would have been nice to have photos of the class progress.  I also didn't get any photos of the exhibit.  Just wasn't feeling up to par.

 So for the past two Sundays I have worked a few hours on Alice.  I finished her dress, sash, skirt and started the leggings.  I also worked on the checkerboard under her dress.  I am hoping to keep working on Alice on Sundays as much as I can.  I am very pleased with the white rabbit too. 
 Next up is a beautiful piece of needlepoint I have been working on for years on end.  It's mostly in basketweave and tent but the blue background is a decorative stitch and yes I am working in hand.  To me , it's relaxing to hold work in your hand.  This was another piece I hoped to keep out and keep working on but there are so many old WIP's that I love and want to finish one day.  So so many and I am knitting more all the time and stitching less.  Not because I don't love to stitch but because after coming home from work - almost never before 7pm and then not getting in my chair till around 9 - my eyes are just so tired from being on the PC all day and then I have a bad habit of picking up my Ipad and running thru all the wonderful projects on FB.  bad bad.  I am trying to limit my time on FB - even my DH is noticing that I am not "crafting" any more as he calls it.
 This is a beautiful finish for 2019 - this is Alchemy by Woolenberry - Janina Kallio from Finland.   I have mentioned before how much I love her designs and how perfect they are for Florida weather.  This one is a little heavier and quite large.  The gray is moss stitch in a sport weight yarn called Shalimar Enzo - a gorgeous 80/10/10 blend of merino/nylon/cashmere and the green is by Blue Moon and is all superwash merino I believe in a stitch she calls a star stitch I believe.
 Last up is my current most loved WIP is Fading Waves by Steven West.  Yarn a "fade" set by Madelinetosh in Merino light.  I don't know why everything is gray all the sudden. I've never been a gray/black/neutral person but there is lots of flecks of turquoise and pink in this colorway.  This is quite a large shawl but I am rocking on and have about twice as much of the dark gray as shown in the photo.  The shawl grows as you go along so it's getting bigger and the short row shaping makes the color shift.
I wish I had a bunch of cross stitch finishes to show but I don't.  This is the time of year I just keep starting new projects.  You know they say "everything is all anew in January"  the year is young and all that jazz!  Anyway - I'm a believer in those words apparently evidenced by the pile of stuff by my chair that I have started in the past 6 weeks.

Thanks for commenting on my blog - I appreciate them all.  my best to everyone and I hope your new year is shaping up just the way you hoped it would.

Friday, December 21, 2018

MERRY MERRY

I'm LATE  I'm LATE said the white rabbit to Alice.

I guess Alice is on my mind because I have chosen an Alice in Wonderland rug canvas for my project for my 20th YES TWENTITH OFF THE OCEAN rug camp coming up next month in January.

For now let's focus on the fast approaching Christmas holiday.  Doesn't it just fly by friends.  All the music, merriment - over in a flash.  I am dragging and clawing every minute of every day to S L O W things down.  Isn't working ...............

I'm happy to show you a few things I finished up in December.  This was my duClay EGA Christmas exchange gift.  It is With Thy Needle Berry Days at Thistle Down Farm.  It is stitched on 36ct PTP Ancient linen with the called for threads.  Yes folks I did the finishing myself - I sanded the box - painted the box with a coat of buttermilk paint and then a strawberry colored paint, I sanded the box again according to instructions to make it look aged and then put a coat of wax on it.

 This was before I put the wool liner in the drawer.  This is a wooden box not a paper mache box.  I hope the recipient was happy.  I almost backed out at the last minute on giving it away.  It was really a lot of work but I thought it turned out wonderfully.
 Next up is another finish I did myself.  This is another small piece in the Hats Bats and Boots club with The Needlepointer.  They are great fun.  I have other ideas about a permanent use for this and the future club pieces I still have left to stitch.
 What about this adorable evil black squirrel.  Scary II is the design by Plum St Samplers.  Dear friend Devon over at Devon's Quiet Corner did the finishing for me .  WOW - what a super job Devon did on my finish.  It was stitched on the called for R&R Winter Brew with the threads from the kit.  The wool was from my rug hooking stash.
 Isn't it absolutely perfect !  take a hop over to Devon's blog and see all her amazing finishes. 
 Another club piece from The Needlepointer - These little hearts are so easy to do and I have 2 more in the series to stitch - they will become part of my future Alice in Wonderland vignette.  All my pieces or almost all my pieces live in my fantasy world where I have wonderful futures for them all.
I did the finishing myself - that black ribbon doesn't show very well but it's ruched ribbon all around the edge.  Mounted on a metal stand.
 Last finish for 2018 is another tree in the Fanciful Forest club also from The Needlepointer.  I deviated from their recommended background.  I just wanted something different and I love the background I found by Brenda Hart.  I am going to take a leap into trying to finish these trees, the forest is piling up on me and I have been gathering my courage with these small pieces I have been finishing.  I think I might be ready to fly
 
Well dear friends - I hope you all have been having a wonderful holiday season however you celebrate.  I wish you lots of time to spend however you wish thru the holiday season.  If I don't make it back here again - 2018 has been a year full of blessings, tragedies for many, losses and joys. 
Please leave me a comment - I do read them all - Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

LONG LONG time since I came to visit in blog land.  I simply can't believe 2 mos have flown by since my August post. 

Actually September was a hard month for me - I had an infected cyst in my back that caused other infections in various places in my body and I have officially taken more meds in the last 8 weeks than I have in my whole life.  I was really sick - literally sick  of being sick.  I don't want to be overly dramatic because I know there are many people battling cancer and various other horrible illnesses and also caring for people with Alzheimer's and other hideous diseases so I have no right to complain.  However I will say that I am glad summer is over and the personal battles with infections are over and I thank God every day for my blessings and my health.

Let's start off by welcoming fall with a new wreath from Rachel's Farmhouse in MacClenny.  Fun place with lots of reproduction primitive furniture and these hand cut tin pieces like the pumpkin in my wreath.
More lovely new fall things.  This mohair squirrel was made by Billie Cudney, a folk artist from Kentucky I think - I bought both this and the Prairie Schooler pumpkin off Early Worke Mercantile.  I've gotten so many great folk art pieces off this site.  They publish new offerings on the 1st (so pop out there tomorrow) and the 15th. 

 A finish that has been lingering around for over 2 years.  this is a big shawl , well over 1000 yards - Jujuy by Joji for any knitting friends out there.  It's worked in Madeline Tosh Merino Light in 3 colorways.  I got tired of the blue which is in the center section and just put it down for at least 9 mos to a year.  Picked it back up in April and was determined to get it finished.  I worked on it off and on and not much during the summer because I was busy knitting my Camp Loopy projects.  I do love it and am glad it's a FFO !
The biggest news I guess is my A&E rug finish.  WOW - I don't want to say but I might as well say because my long term blogging friends will know I have been working on this rug for a decade or more.  Bear in mind that I put this down for months and sometimes years at a time.  Other rugs and other needlework grabs my attention and lovely things like this A&E rug go unloved.

For any rug hookers out there - this is hooked mostly in a 4 cut with details in a 3, I was using a 5 on the background but then when I got to the ground on the bottom and the ecru background I moved to a 6 cut.

The rug was designed by Kim Nixon who passed away a number of years ago.  When we ordered the rug we asked that 2 sides of the rug would be left blank.  Her original included Adam riding on a dove or bird and some geometric patterns on the other 2 sides we left blank. 

 My dear friend Katie Puckett did extensive re-working on this rug fashioning it after a 1800's antique sampler called Jane Atkinson.  Most of the motifs were adapted from that sampler.
 I believe tree was on 2 sides of Kim's rug - I think we redid the top with all the leaves.
 each leaf is outlined with a 3 cut and yes it took years to do those leaves.  Literally .........
I started on the top from what I recall, the snake was fun to do - The wool was mostly from my vast stash.  However Katie did dye the blue to ecru background and I know the tree wool and some of the leaves were from my Diane Stoffel stash, I think the A&E bodies was from Diane's wool.  This is going to be a cube stool cover.  I took a workshop last year to learn how to finish it - too bad I didn't have the hooking done so I could have finished mine in class.  I'm always a day (or year)late and a dollar short !  Anyway - this is my monumental finish of the year for sure !

This is my August Camp Loopy finish.  It was a gift to a DF and it is a pattern called Amery.  You can't see much detail because it's almost a black yarn - Malabrigo Rios in a color called Pearl Ten.  It has a very wide ribbing - I have this shawl I made for Camp several years ago in exactly the same colorway.  My friend always remarked about it when I wore it so I thought I'd make her one.
Just to prove I do still stitch - here is a long term project call 6 Fat Snowman by Lizzie Kate.
I keep it at work and if I get stuck there with troublesome backup projects etc. I might pull it out and do a few stitches here and there.  It's on 28ct antique cotton by R&R.  I love the bright happy colors.  Panel #3 is almost finished and then on to the next.  One of these years - it will be finished too !

I figure my life is just a journey thru time with my needlework.  I hope the joy my needlework gives me is represented here on my blog which I've been doing for over 10 years.  I'm very blessed to have many friends who do some type of handwork, knitting, rug hooking, quilting, hand sewing etc.
We all mark the passing of time thru stitches.  I hope the fall season is giving you lots of pleasure, the drinking of your favorite hot beverage, the color on the trees (well not here but some where) cooler temps ( yes we've gone from record highs in the 90's to pleasant breezes in the 80's but I'll take what I can get ) and the coming of favorite holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Since I never had any children - we don't do much for Halloween - as a matter of fact - I'm still sitting here watching the sun set in my office.  However you celebrate the coming season - I hope it's a great one for you!  I promise - I'll see you again soon.  Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog.


Thursday, August 30, 2018

SULTRY SUMMER DAYS

Hello blog friends

I've been away for a long time but always thinking I need to do a blog post before too much time passes by.

I had two trips since we last visited here on my blog.  One was our Days of Summer retreat in Sebring FL with our duClay EGA Chapter.  There we 23 attendees, some were mothers of members and a guest or two.  We had a super time.

My mom and I love to visit tea rooms and we have some favorite spots around the state.  Since we were planning to visit Winter Haven on the way to Sebring we stopped and had lunch at The Twisted Teapot.  It was a lovely home converted to a tea room. 
 We had a nice lunch there before moving on to the real destination 4 Purls Yarn Shop.  Yes I was here two years ago and MY MY MY  - I knew it was a must stop any time I am in that neck of the woods.  It is definitely in my top 5 shops I have ever visited anywhere in the country.  It's owned by a sweet family - father mother and 3 children.  Two of the daughters have their own dye company called Emma's Yarns and they just went national with their product.  They also have a cool yarn truck they take around the state of Florida so check their website and maybe they are coming to a town near you.  Even the truck is worth driving for.  Did I get yarn - Yes I got yarn but somehow don't have any photos of it.
 Inn on the Lakes in Sebring is a great location for a retreat or workshop.  I've said many times before I've been going here for years for rug hooking workshops.  Here is a shot from our balcony - lovely but SO HOT!

on the way home my mom and I visited another favorite tearoom , Erika's Tea Room and gifts located in the cute downtown of Clermont.  not far off US 27 and not even far from the south side of Disney.
Erika and her mom have a great place.  She has the most awesome collection of tea pots, tea accessories, tea sets of any shop I have ever been to.  Yes I did add to my collection.  I'll show you sometime when I actually unwrap the tea set from Ireland.  Someone said why are you never in any photos - well here I am !  I usually take the photos.
One of the few stitching things I have finished this summer.  This is Fragments #1 2018 series and was actually finished by Vonna - The Twisted Stitcher.  She has already closed her finishing for 2018 sorry folks but Vonna has some awesome tutorials to help you finish your own items.  If I can do it - you can do it!  pick something small and easy and give it a try!

 As my long term blog followers know - I knit every summer with a group of friends doing a virtual "camp" with The Loopy Ewe a great shop in Colorado.  This is my July finish which I actually took with me to Sebring to finish up.  The pattern is Therapy and don't we all need some THERAPY!!!  The yarns is Woolen Boon for the overdyed blue and the solid blue and orange is Spud and Chloe Fine.  NO this is not a Gator scarf !!!!!  I might lean towards being an AU scarf but I'm really not into football at all.
  I love knitting - my eyes are so tired from being on the PC all day that many (most) nights I dont' feel like working on linen.  Yes I have great lights - all kinds - yes I have prescription glasses to help me - Yes I have dropped back to only buying 32ct and lower linen.  I must admit - I am enjoying canvas work so much more than stitching on linen.  It's a sad fact but I just don't get done what I once was able to get done.
In August - we took our annual family vacation with my folks to the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area of Tenn.  Yes we have another favorite tea room there called the Wild Plum - it was far too hot to enjoy anything but their special wild plum iced tea - I think DH drank about 4 glasses.  Wish I had one right now!

We were there for opening day of a smashing new restaurant in Sevierville called Five Oaks Farmhouse.  WOW - the wood was new and it smelled wonderful.  Look at that 40ft ceiling and those gigantic beams.  The food was quite good too.  We wished we could make it back there for breakfast but so much to do so little time.


The outside of the farm house with my folks and DH.
 On the way home - we pass Elberton Granite Museum every year.  For 30 years we have passed this little museum by.  Most of the time it's not open but this time it was and we decided to stop and take a look.  They have a huge amount of granite quarries in this area of north Ga.  This is also the area where the Georgia Guidestones are positioned.  We've been to this mysterious site purported to be America's Stonehenge.  I don't know about that but who commissioned them is a mystery and they do have an ominous warning for the world.  Ever in the area - I suggest checking both of them out.
 And the finale - Camp Loopy 3 - this year is in the bank so to speak.  Last year I didn't finish the 3rd challenge but the owner changed the rules this year making it a choice to pick the yardage you want to knit for each month of the challenge.  Traditionally August was always 800 yards minimum and that is just really tough for me.  I'm glad I could choose 600 yards and make it work.  Pattern is Amery on Ravelry for any knitters out there and the yarn is Malabrigo Rios. 

Last but certainly the most important thing in the post is my dear mom's birthday.  My DH looks like he is about to dump that plate of cupcakes into the floor but he didn't and we ate them up !  I posted this photo on FB and I got comments from so many of our great friends, my mom is not on FB so I showed her all the greetings .  Blog friends and FB friends are just as real to me as my local friends, all important to me.

I love reading your comments but we are all getting less and less on our blogs.  please do take a moment to leave a comment.  Until we meet again in sweet September!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

TIME GOES BY

Yes my friends - time goes by !  I can't believe it's been over a month since I posted on my blog.  There hasn't been much going on.  Needlework wise nothing was finished except my Camp Loopy for June project was finished on time - YAY!!!

My faithful blog followers will know that every summer I do a virtual camp with The Loopy Ewe
a great on line shop but they also do brick and mortar in Colorado.  Below is my June finish, for any knitters who may be interested I used the Hedgehog Fibres sock - wasn't that impressed with the yarn.  It seemed over processed to me and felt like I was knitting with cotton.  It behaved like cotton and wasn't springy like wool should be.  I do love the color and it blocked out nice so it's a nice finish and I might use it for a gift. The pattern is Spindrift by Helen Stewart.  I really like how she writes her patterns.
This is what I am working on for July.  It is a mix of Woolen Boon Space Cowboy in the middle and two skeins of Spud and Chloe Fine on either side.  I am doing Therapy by Laura Aylor.  So far I really like the yarn and the pattern.  Just have to keep hustling along, this one has more yardage than the June challenge. 



 
 

We spent a long weekend in St Augustine Beach in June.  It was a lovely but HOT weekend.  Here is our view from the balcony.  I never tire of that view and I don't know why we don't go to the beach more often for weekend getaways.  The condo is much roomier than a hotel - that is probably why we don't.



I always bring WAY too many projects to work on but this time I limited myself to finishing the shawl above, some time enjoying my watermelon class piece and a Plum Street SAL with our EGA guild.  OH and I did sneak in a new start on the WTNT Basketful of Summertime.

 
I'd love to hear what you have been up to this summer.  So many of my favorite blogs are never updated any more and I feel like I've lost a good friend.  Many of those "friends" post on FB but it's not the same as a good old newsy blog post.  So if you used to write on a blog - why don't you take a minute to update it and let your blog friends know what you're up to.  Until we meet again - have a wonderful summer!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

IN THE MERRY MONTH OF MAY

May has been a wonderfully busy month for me.  April was a good month too - my birth month!

The first weekend in May was a wonderful retreat weekend with the Sun Region EGA group.  We had about 68 attend the retreat held in Safety Harbor FL.  I was Facilities chair so I was busy all thru the weekend and exhausted when we left to come home but it was a really great retreat. My mom went with me again, she attended her first Sun Region retreat last April in Mt Dora and we had a great time so we thought it would be fun to do it again.  This was the wonderful view from our 2nd story balcony where we spent a few moments in the late afternoons relaxing.  In the distance is the west side of Tampa Bay.  Espiritu Springs is on the grounds of this resort - purported to be the "fountain of youth" by Spanish explorers. 
We also celebrated Mothers Day with my dear mom.  She and my DH at Blue
 Bamboo - one of our favorite restaurants in town did a lovely MD brunch.

These photos got a little out of order but this is our most recent trip to Hiawassee Ga.  We always try to catch lunch at the Coleman House - this beautiful Queen Anne style Victorian home is in Swainsboro Ga. and they do a wonderful lunch buffet.  I don't know if they still do B&B here but it's a great lunch stop 5 or 6 days a week, closed on Saturdays.  Just one shot of their beautiful gardens.  I had more photos of this stop but it was getting photo heavy.  We were on our way to Hiawassee so I could attend a rug hooking workshop at the Hookery with Linda Bell.  Her studio has been featured before in my blog.  It is just stunning, such a relaxing camp.  This year she had teacher Laura Pierce from California.  Check out her Flying Dog website .  She specializes in faces and she was amazing.  I learned so much from her in this 3 day workshop.  I'll show you my project.
 

me
 If you've been reading my blog for a while you know what time it is ???  It's Camp Loopy time.  Every summer I spend June, July and Aug knitting with a group of friends and attending a "virtual" camp put on by the Loopy Ewe.  Sheri does a great job with this virtual camp and has worldwide attendance.  Check out her website/blog for details - it's not too late to join the fun.  This years theme is "cowboys or western theme"  This is my June yarn and it's one I've never tried Hedgehog Fibres from England.  Color called Cereal for some odd reason.  Not a great photo but you'll be seeing the project I picked out in June.  Not sure but I have several shawl patterns I'm pondering.  This is my 7th year participating in camp.
 While in Safety Harbor a few weeks ago - we visited Roxy's Yarns - a great little shop across the bay in Tampa.  My mom fell in love with this crocheted Noro jacket which they had on display made out of this exact colorway of Malabrigo Rios - a worsted weight yarn.  I'm rusty on crochet but I ordered a new Furls hook (have you seen them???)  and I'm off on the jacket !  it's been fun.  So far so good
Next knitting project getting attention is Neridah by an Australian designer Ambah.  It's in 3 colors but the 3rd color hasn't made an appearance yet.  I found the perfect shade of dusty aqua to coordinate with these greens.  the solid bright green is Shibui Staccato and the overdyed is Blue Moon Socks that Rock in the Bubble Guppie colorway.  It's been so great for spring knitting.

 I needed an easy project for the trip so I started Alchemy by one of my favorite designers Woolenberry.  Janina the designer lives in Finland.  Her designs are usually light and airy and perfect for Florida climate.  This one is two colors but you only see the Shalimar Enzo Sport weight so far in a pretty shade of bluish gray.  Seed stitch is a nice diversion from garter for me so this is easy to pick up and put down and perfect for travel or knit night with the girls.
A bit out of order but here is my St Nicholas project that I did in my Hiawassee rug workshop.  Here is the progression of work I did in 3 days of class.  Bear in mind that this was only class time - no hooking at night on this trip.

 This is probably the end of day 2 of hooking - ONLY on the face - I just had to get the face in.  Laura had great advice and really got me out of my box.  I had never done a human face before.
 Day 3 of class - I worked only on the cardinal and pulled wool from Linda Bell's beautiful selection of hand dyed wools for the staff and background.  This rug is designed by Tish Murphy - sorry I didn't give her credit for the design.  It's not a big rug only 18" x 18".  but in a 3 cut - it moves very
 

 

S L O W - but worth it for the effect.  I am doing the same sort of color plan but with different wools of course - I didn't buy the kit from Tish. 

A close up of the cardinal - I am very pleased with how the rug is coming out.  I hope to continue hooking on him but I have OH SO many rug WIP's and I just don't hook much in the summer months but this is a nice small rug unlike my other rugs which are larger and heavy and hot to work on in the humid summers way down south.
 
Well my blog friends - hope you have also had a merry May and things are going your way.  I always appreciate your comments - love hearing from you and what you've been up to.  See  you in June!