Thursday, December 22, 2016


I figured if I didn't make a blog post today - it might not get done and I actually have quite a few finishes to show you today and some WIP's of course.  Not to mention a new start !

First up is my exchange gift for our duClay EGA chapter annual Christmas luncheon.  This is Basket of Cherries by BBD.  I did the finishing myself although I'll admit it is minimal finishing - still people!  Give me a break - I am SUCH a non-finisher.  However I really worked myself and stretched myself the past couple of months by finishing a few things.  The was a treenware board I bought at Dixie Darlin in Tenn.  It worked perfect for this piece.

 Next up is the exchange gift my mom stitched.  It is finished exactly like it was in the BBD - My Friendships or something like that.  My apologies to any BBD experts - It is my mom's book and I don't remember the exact name.  Anyway  - I did all the finishing, YEP - I ordered the paint, the Briwax , the trim and I used Vonna's excellent tutorials for flat finish mounting to accomplish this feat.  Please visit The Twisted Stitcher and give Vonna's floss tube instructional videos a try.  They are immensely helpful.  She doesn't leave out a single detail.  VONNA ROCKS!
You can't see the lining of the box very well but I used rug hooking plaid wool that matched perfectly.  Guess what,  guess who got this box?   ME ME ME !!!!!!!!!  I was so excited that no one chose my mom's gift and once it came my turn to pick - it was still there so I snatched it up pronto.  My thoughts were to give it to my mom but she said she wanted me to have it since I worked so hard on it.  I didn't argue much because I don't think I have anything in my house that my mom has stitched.  I have loads of stuff my dad has stitched, oh yes I have a HO HO HO piece by Lizzie Kate my mom did many years ago in a treasured Hog River frame.  Can't say I don't have a thing but I will have to task her for a sampler of hers.  Maybe even a loan.
So - the Santa next to the box - yes he is holding a hooked rug!  This lovely Santa is signed and dated and I'm quite sure the gentleman who carved him by hand is no longer with us. I met his wife at a rug camp in Sebring many years ago.  She was taking orders for him and of course I ordered one.  I never heard from her again until one day about 2 years later, I got an email from this woman and she said her husband had come down with a rare form of Parkinsons and was struggling to get thru the list of people who wanted this Santa.  She said - you may not want him because his work has suffered and he doesn't feel it's nearly as good as before.  I said - I'm thrilled to hear from you and YES I do want him.  I should have taken a photo of just him - he is so perfect and amazing and I treasure him.  There is a little hand woven basket next to him that also came from that area of Florida near Sebring.  All treasures in my mind.

Next is the beautiful Christmas ornament that Kathy Rees taught to duClay EGA back in November.  I'm sorry it's not "finished" yet but I'm gathering up my courage to do this one.  I've only finished two prior canvas pieces, both of them done in finishing classes at the now closed French Knot np shop in Savannah Ga.  I sure miss that lovely shop.  So I'll show it when it gets "finished"  It was sure fun, Kathy encouraged us to raid our stash and find fibers to use.  I used 4 fibers, Gloriana floss, Fyre Works, Watercolors and a hand dyed boucle type stuff from Color Complements in Canada.

Another finish by MEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!   It was pretty easy to finish except I sliced a big gash in my wrist with the rotary cutter on this one.  I am not that familiar with a rotary cutter, have avoided buying one for years but with all this fancy finishing and watching Vonna's tutorials - I figured I had to have all the "stuff" or I couldn't be successful.  Lesson learned - I've bought a bigger wider ruler and hopefully won't run the cutter into my body parts.  This is LHN Merry Christmas 2016.  I used PTP Crystal Earthen, all from Dixie Darlin in Tenn.  It is mounted on yep you guessed it - rug hooking wool.  This wool is actually used in my rug Santa and Ewe - it was perfect for this ornament.
Simple but sweet and it's hanging on my tree!
Once my exchange and EGA challenge obligations were done a couple of weeks ago, it's like a bird out of a cage.  What fun rummaging thru new charts and old WIP's looking for what I want to add to  my challenge next year and what I want to work on right now.  It's completely guilt free for about a month or so until reality sets in and I have to get back to work on my assigned projects for 2017.
Here is an ornament canvas I found in my stash,  like a long forgotten friend - Santa came riding into my hands on Rudolph.  This canvas was purchased from the Bristly Thistle which is about an hour north of me. This is Onward Ho by Mile High Princess and it came with a stitch guide.  I have gathered most of the threads suggested by the guide.  A few of them were new to me like Entice, Kreinik Hot Wire and Gloriana Duchess Silk. There's sequins, beads oh my !  I'll change a few things but this is going to be fun!

I'm sorry to say that 2016 was another bummer year for rug hooking around my house.  Sad that another Off the Ocean rug camp exhibit will come up next month and I won't have a finish to show.
This rug could have been finished so easily but as you can see - it's languishing - not finished at yet another Christmastide.  So sad - he is so fun.  One thing that has kept me from plowing thru is that big space under the house.  There is two snowflake thingys drawn there and I don't want to hook them because they won't show on this background.  I wish I could draw another deer there but even another pine tree would be better than a big blank space.  This is a combination of two With Thy Needle and Thread designs, yes I do have the charts and no I have not stitched them and probably won't stitch them.  Maybe next Christmas he'll be done.  The color plan was done by my DF Dianne Kelly of the Woolen Cottage in Ohio.
Oh yes there's knitting - there is always knitting !  This is a special Christmas colorway offered by The Loopy Ewe last season.  I started it and worked on it until Christmas and then put it away and never looked at it again till I uncovered the bag a few weeks ago and thought AWWWW - another forgotten toy.  So I pulled it out and have been enjoying the pattern Fractal Danger by Martina Behm , a designer in Germany.  The yarn dyer is Blue Moon and it's just gorgeous yarn to work with.

Another WIP I've been working on is Jujuy by Joji.  It uses 3 colors and I chose Madeline Tosh Merino Light.  I've never used MT ML before, it's a very popular fingering single ply yarn.  The first colorway is a very drab grayish brownish tanish color called Kitten - finally the 2nd color Well Water is appearing and then one more color will be added for the border.  It's a fun easy relaxing pattern that I can work on when I am tired, brain dead and can't see to stitch.

Oh , last up is a finish I also forgot to show you.  This is tree #2 in the Fanciful Forest club which I participated in year before last with The Needlepointer in WA.  I'm going to start another tree and then I am going to tackle finishing the 2 I already have done.  I have some finishing ideas - it's just putting them into production that is the problem.  I'm determined to try and do some things myself, after all - I have a big birthday coming up in 2017 and I figured I have to pull up my big girl panties some time in my life right !
Fibers and stitches all by The Needlepointer.  This tree was fun and easy to pick up and put down.

Well friends - that concludes my Christmas tour, I hope you have your halls decked and your bells a jingling because Christmas is almost upon us.  I love the music and the special treats, I miss how things used to be.  I miss the fact that friends have fallen away, some have passed and some have just moved on, I miss my dear grandmother and my husbands dear grandmother and mother, we try to cling to things we've always done at holiday time but you can't ignore that things have changed and I guess will keep on changing.  I'm very thankful I have my dear folks to cling to at holiday time, I love them so much and they make everything we do so special.  I'm grateful for friends both near and far, those who are so dear to me and those I've never met but are still dear and special just the same.

I wish you and yours all the joy this season has to offer, I give thanks to the Lord our God for this season and for sending this son.  It's HIS birth we celebrate - don't forget the reason for the season !
MERRY CHRISTMAS , God bless us every one ! 

Thursday, November 17, 2016


November has been full of wonderful little nibbles of pleasure all thru the month so far.

First it's my DH birth month and while we did do a lot - it was a day to celebrate him.  Sorry no photos, just a quiet dinner or two for just the 2 of us.

The next big event was a full week of exciting duClay EGA events.  First our friend Kathy Rees of Needle Delights rolled into town on a Friday afternoon for 5 days of fun in our area.  She did a wonderful "taste of " Christmas ornament for us.  I can't believe I didn't get any photos with my own phone but hopefully someone did and will post to the duClay blog in the near future.

Kathy was also here in NE FL to see Merrilyn Heazlewood who was on an International Teaching Tour and had just taught at the recent EGA National in DC.  Sun Region had engaged Merrilyn to come and teach for us thru the ITT program sponsored by EGA National.  What a fantastic opportunity for the members of Sun Region to have someone from the land down under - Tasmania to come and learn from. 

Our local chapter duClay EGA was selected by the SR board to be the host chapter for this class.  We had an awesome time with Merrilyn.  We did her Tudor Garden project - a counted canvas project in a 3 day class.

The class was well attended with 18 members from Miami to Pensacola. 

 Many members from the duClay chapter took advantage of the class.  two were already gone home when this photo was taken, my apologies for not including our President Linda and our Secretary Becky in the photo.  Merrilyn was so much fun, we went to dinner every night and learned a lot about her work and her life in Tasmania.  To me - it was just a perfect class and just what the ITT is all about.  Learning, sharing and giving her a glimpse into our lives and she into hers.  AWESOME!
There's been some finishing along the way.  My dear mom stitched this Prairie Schooler ornament out of the 2014 JCS ornament issue.  I used plaid wool for the backing.  Let me just say it's not as easy to do triangles as one would think.  it's not perfect but I am learning and mom was pleased.

Another finish is this baby afghan for a DF's first grandson.  I'm a little late as he was born in the summer time but it's just now getting cold enough for this worsted weight blanket.  For any interested knitters out there - I used Dream in Color Classy in the Beach Fog colorway.

 This garter stitch placket was included in the pattern - it looked like it was begging for some personalization so I used wool applique to put the child's nickname in that spot.  I've heard his mom and dad were both so pleased.
Last up today is the first ornament in the Hats Bats and Boots Halloween canvas club by The Needlepointer in WA.  This is the 2nd club I've done with them.  These are exclusive designs by Pippin Studios in Canada.  This shop is the distributor for her canvases and they are all so fun!
OH here's the shocker - I did the finishing on this ornament too!  Yes the beaded edge was put on 1 bead at a time with a needle.  YEP - it took hours and hours but I am so pleased with the results.  I cheaped out on the hanger and used ribbon because once I got going with the finishing - I wasn't stopping to run to the store to buy a better choice.  I figure it will only be seen maybe a month out of the year so who cares - it's all about the ornament anyway not the hanger. right?

Here's the back - I just used a piece of quilting material out of a charm pack.  Don't even remember the designer but I think it was a Moda fabric.  I have a bunch more of these babies to stitch, not sure I will keep up the beading theme but who knows I may change the color of the beads and keep using them.  The beads are 6/0 Japanese seed beads.  The threads and stitch guide was provided in the kit.
Simple but adorable.
Who among us can even believe Thanksgiving is ONE WEEK from today?????  I know I sure can't.
Seems like we just got thru with hurricane clean up and BOOM it's Christmas.  Our chapter's Christmas Tea is 3 weeks from Saturday and I'm woefully behind on my challenge list and have a whole bunch of stuff that is close to being finished but NO WAY I can finish it all in 3 weeks along with my exchange gift and my dear mom's finishing is waiting too.  Gees - how did I get appointed to be the chief finisher.

Oh yes I'm still knitting too.  Love my knitting.  I have one shawlette almost finished and of course many in various stages of completion.  It's my rug hooking that has suffered most in 2016 - I bet I haven't hooked 3 or 4 times since the two camps I attended in the first quarter of 2016.  Sad I know - another Christmas will go by and no Santa and Ewe will be completed.  I think we are going to get a little cool weather this weekend - maybe I'll get Santa and Ewe out and pull a few loops.

Whatever you do and where ever you go or don't go for Thanksgiving - I hope you have a little quiet time to do a few stitches or pull a few loops.  Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours ~ ~ ~

Monday, October 31, 2016


From way down in the deep south where record high temps abound - I bid you a very Happy Halloween !  I hope you are planning a wonderful evening whether it's being out and about with your kids and grands or whether it's eating candy and watching an old scary movie - I hope you have a wonderful All Hallows Eve.
Here is one of my fall displays with a little of this and that.  2 pottery pumpkins from my favorite pottery shop in Pigeon Forge Tenn. an exquisite work of art original pumpkin in the center made by DF Becky, the Button Eyed cat by Scarlett House, the Scarecrow in the pumpkin patch rug color planned and hooked by me, design by Bev Conway.
Miss Merrie Halloween is here to greet you -
 I never tire of seeing the beautiful Miss Merrie - Color plan and wool by the incomparable Diane Stoffel, hooked by me and now residing in a private collection.

Enjoy and have a little Monster Mash on me !

Sunday, October 16, 2016


Hello blog friends, many of you commented on my FB photos taken during Hurricane Matthew last week.  It was a harrowing experience, we haven't had a brush so close to our coast in many years.  We had a direct hit in 1964 with Dora when I was a small child.  I remember being in the dark so much and not understanding why there was water in the tub but I couldn't get in.  Same thing this year - water in the tub, water in the washing machine - yep - that was for flushing the commode and washing a few dishes and washing hands etc.  We decided at the last minute to evacuate to my folks house which is about 30 miles more inland than our house and I'm sure as heck glad we did.  Their power was only out about 24 hours and ours was out 4 days.

Here is our view from my folks porch during the storm.  Surfable waves on the lake and just a bit down from them  - waves were crashing over the bulkheads.  Trees bending and yep - my dad forgot to take down the bird feeders but they came thru just fine.

This photo was take from mom's dining room on Friday afternoon at the height of the storm.
I am so thankful for all our safety.

We did have a near miss at our house.  Just look how close this 60 ft Laurel oak tree came to hitting our house and it scraped that other 60ft oak all the way down but didn't seem to hurt it.  It was too big for my DH and DD to try and remove so I had to pay a tree surgeon to come and saw it up and haul to the curb.  That's my DH in the background surveying the damage on Saturday when we headed into town to see what damage we might have had.  I am just so thankful we left - it would have been horrifying to be there when that tree fell.  Our neighbors all around us said it shook the ground and rattled their windows when it fell.  Part of the appeal of our area was the beautiful old oaks but they can be so very dangerous.  There is utter devastation all our NE FL from these trees falling on houses.  We were very blessed that day to not be affected in any way.

Most of the time at the lake I was too nervous to stitch and there wasn't enough light after the power went out so I just mostly knitted.  This is a beautiful beaded shawlette called Knit Night.  My first time using beads in knitting and it's fun !  I'm doing a KAL on this one with DF Henri.  The yarn is Vivacious 4py by Fyberspates in the UK and I loved it so much I've ordered more from England.

 Here's a parting shot of what the lake looked like two days after Matthew's departure.  Lovely and tranquil like we like it.  I feel for all the people who were affected by Matthew and whose lives have changed forever thru their loss of property and loss of lives.  God be with them all.  We were very blessed to be spared and life is pretty much back to normal for us just one week later.
I'll be back again soon with some fall and Halloween decorating around my house.  I hope you are all having fun with Fall .  Thanks for coming and visiting and please do leave a comment, I sometimes wonder if people are reading blogs any more. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


Another month has almost passed us by and I almost let it slip without a post - I don't know why it's become so hard to do a post - I have plenty to say but when it comes time to get some photos of my work - therein lies the problem !

I have been back to stitching in September since I finished my last Camp Loopy project on the night of August 30th - whew !  nothing like pushing to the last possible minute.  I already got my bonus skein of yarn for finishing this year and while I am always excited about it in June - I am ready to see the obligation go in August!

This is a Kathy Ree's Needle Delights special club piece in the Elements series - I have finished the row which shows incomplete in this photo.  I have enjoyed it and love the colors and fibers used.  Our duClay EGA is doing a Kathy Rees SAL in 2016.  Some are already finished and I do hope to finish by years end.  Just have to keep at it.

 I should have had this first - this is the 3rd Camp Loopy finish for 2016.  It is Shine by Janina Kallio.I  LOVE her designs - they are perfect for our less desirable for hand knits climate here in the deep south.  She uses lots of yarn overs in her designs thus giving them a light airy look.  The yarn used here was new to me JulieSpins 435 which is a 50/50 silk wool blend.  Color Rhubarb and yes it took the entire 800+ yards I had in 2 skeins and I still didnt' have enough to properly complete the garment according to the pattern directions.  Thus the squared off end instead of the nice pretty point.
Oh well at that point in the game - I sure didn't give a flip about running about of yarn!.

There's always a new start waiting in the wings.  This is Jujuy - 3 colors of Madeline Tosh Merino Lite - I almost always have to order yarn on line so sometimes the color is a surprise.  The color already on the needle is Kitten - I thought it was more beige but it has a lot of gray - I think it will be sufficiently balanced out by the other two pretty colors, well water one of my fave Tosh colors and the other one is Chicory.  I have more done but now I'm up to the short rows which means I have to actually pay attention and probably keep row notes - the party's over !  Never fear I have another mindless project I can work on and will show you in the next post.
A stitching finish !  Halleluiah !  amazing I know.  This is a pin drum piece by Heartstring Samplery - I think it's called Grand Old Flag  - I have the pin drum base completed thanks to DF Carol's lovely class she taught for our EGA chapter on making a pin drum.  With lots of hand holding from Carol - my finish is pretty dang respectable and I'm anxious to get this applied to it.

I'm afraid that's about all I could scare up to show you today.  Speaking of "scaring up" next post should have some fall and Halloween stuff.  Certainly my favorite season is coming - I say ITS COMING - FALL - shall we have some fall weather PLEASE!!!!!!!  still in the upper 80's here every day this week but supposedly we are going to be dipping into the upper 60's at night.  These crazy people around here will be dragging out the jackets.

Hope fall is coming to your neck of the woods and you are enjoying it in the most special way.  I'd love to hear how you enjoy fall around your house.  I read each and every comment - you are all so special to me.  See you in October !

Monday, August 22, 2016


I have a lot to cover in this blog post.  Lots has happened since I popped in with a July post. 

Our EGA chapter had a great retreat in Sebring so I'll talk about that, I finished Camp Loopy 2 on time, YEAH!  and we just returned from the worst vacation I can ever remember having to our favorite Smoky mountain spot.

First the happy stuff - the retreat at Inn on the Lakes in  Sebring FL was great !  Check out the duClay Chapter EGA blog
for more great photos and a report by our own Jackie and check out her beautiful blog while you're out there looking.  duClay EGA also has a FB page - please like us and follow our blog too, we do lots of great stuff.

Here is a photo of my Camp Loopy 2 finish.  Not a great photo but it's really big - over 600yards - that was the challenge for this CL project.  the other challenge was that it needed to be something in your que or wish list for over a year.  This was Zuni and I think I provided a link and info in my prior blog post.

 Here is a shot of the lake from the pool patio. it was H O T but it was July in Fl and I don't think anyone was bothered by the heat.
A different angle of the lake, the flowers and foliage was not nearly as dramatic and gorgeous as it is in the spring when I was last there but it was still nice.

Here are the 20 "pirate booty bags" I put together for all 20 of our retreat participants.  The "treasures" inside were all donated by wonderful shop owners and vendors.  We played a fun game involving these gifts and I think everyone had a good time and ended up with a "treasure"

We always look forward to vacation in the late summer in the Smoky Mountains.  We usually stay at a condo in the Pigeon Forge area.  Here is DH relaxing on the condo patio during one of our brief happy non-stressed times.

and me trying to catch a little peaceful knitting time!

Our magnificent view of the smoky mountain range.  Never tire of looking at this out our windows
my progress on Camp Loopy 3 - this is a 50/50 wool/silk by JulieSpins in the colorway called Rhubarb.  It looks like rhubarb too!  It is another Janina Kallio pattern called Shine.  This challenge was a minimum of 800 yard OIY and it needed to be a designer not in your own country.  Janina is in Finland.  I am enjoying the pattern and DF Henri (no blog) is KAL-ing along with me on this project. I saw Henri for a meet up on day 6 of the challenge and I said "Henri, why is yours different"? Yikes I had misread the pattern and had worked for 6 days doing the wrong start to the scarf, SHOOT!  I sat right there and pulled it all out and started over .
Will I finish by 8/31 - whew!  the pressure is on.

I'm leaving the horrible vacation adventure details till last in case you want to skip it. 

We left on a Saturday morning planning to spend the night 1/2 way along on the trip at a favorite stop in a quaint little town Thomson Ga.  We've been staying here for years and years but they have a new Hampton there so it's back on the list again for a nice place to stay. All was well - we met my folks who arrived earlier for dinner at a nice pizza joint downtown.

Day 2 we left, heading for the hills - I always do the driving but we had taken my DH 13mos old vehicle with less than 10K miles.  We drove it to the mountains in December and it did fine so why was it feeling strange now ????  As we got more into the mountains (what we flatlanders call mountains are probably hills to many) I noticed some kind of herky jerky action in the transmission when I let off the gas.  Oh it must be my imagination - no need to worry DH - keep pressing onward.
By the time we got on top of Ole Smoky - we had a noticeable jerk and it seemed like the vehicle which shall not be named was actually slipping OUT OF GEAR !  EGADS - surely this could not be - a practically brand new vehicle - NO!!!!!!!!!!  Coming down off the mountains - I sure had a fear of not being able to control the car and careening off the mountain with my dear parents following behind in horror.  I did not tell them of the issue. Thank the Lord we made it down into Gatlinburg and now the vehicle was lurching every time I started off from a stop - it was evident even to my folks that something was wrong.  We made it to the condo check in and when I backed out and tried to put in Drive it wouldn't move - OH NOOOOOOO - have I crapped out right here in the office parking lot.  I was rolling backward towards an embankment - I guess I panicked and my DH said HIT THE BRAKE, HIT THE BRAKE!  OK nothing wrong with the brake and we pulled up the hill in low gear.

So I stewed about the vehicle all night - I looked on google and found the nearest dealership, we'd have to wait for the morning but I did email our service manager in Savannah where we've bought 4 of these vehicles. 

Monday morning - I was in touch with our service manager - he suggested I call the manufacturer car care line and they would open a case and arrange for a tow.  OK - good idea ! So the flatbed driver arrived in a few hours and we watched our vehicle  roll away to Alcoa Tenn.  where the heck is Alcoa Tenn.??  ALL DAY MONDAY was taken up with phone calls, making phone calls, waiting for phone calls, trying to get a rental car which apparently is not easy in this area.  Finally at close to closing time we drove out to Sevierville and picked up a rental - a Kia sedan which smelled of smoke so bad  it was disgusting.  At least we had wheels.

Tuesday morning - got the news that yes our transmission was bad and would have to be replaced.  My confidence level sunk low - nothing against people in Tenn. but where was Alcoa and what do I know about the people who work there.  I have been in the car business my whole life and most of time I know everyone who works on my vehicles personally.  I work for the family who owns the  dealerships where I buy my vehicles, yes it is a blessing and apparently also I curse because I am feeling very naked and alone right now dealing with Podunk Tenn. with their 1 service advisor.

My brain is already working - a transmission job will take days - it will probably take days to even get the parts - what will happen - I can't drive back to Tenn. to pick up my car in a week or two - I have to go back to work.  Humm - maybe I can have my vehicle transported home - I know we arrange for transport all the time for customers at our stores when purchasing.  So I call our dear service manager and run this possibility by him.  As a matter of fact - why don't we have it trailered down to Savannah and let them do the repair - B R I L L I A N T  - idea Mel!  So our dear GM and SM went to the district manager for the manufacturer and pleaded my case and got approval - YIPPEE -  Day 4 of vacation and things are finally looking up !

So I called the dealership and spoke to #1 ASM and he stammered and stuttered and said  well OK - I'll go tell the tech who was working on it.  end of story right ?

Day 5 - Wednesday - I am nervous about being parted from my vehicle - I know how many things can go wrong at a car dealership - I've heard every horror story out there.  I'm trying to recoup my vacation - really I am but I am edgy and apparently irritable  and none of us can agree on a plan for the day - I am so wiped out - I just want to sit and do nothing but we gather  ourselves up and head for the Wild Plum Tearoom over in Gatlinburg.  I'm sure my dear mom thought that would surely perk me up along with some retail therapy.  after lunch I get a voice mail come thru from the manager of the #1 service advisor saying "Don't worry Mrs Bryan - we are going to do our best to get your vehicle fixed and back on the road"   NO NO NO - Didn't you get the message we are NOT having our vehicle repaired in Podunk Tenn. by people I don't know.  So I immediately called to talk to this guy and got #1 ASM on the phone and I said " didn't you tell your boss I was having my vehicle transported to Savannah?  Why yes ma'am I did - duh - I don't know why he's calling you! 
Yes you do you freak - he doesn't want to let go of that huge transmission job for his tiny store in Podunk Tenn.  I panicked again -  EGADS - they are going to tear into my vehicle where it can't be transported, they are going to claim they've ordered parts - they are holding my vehicle hostage - OOOONOOOO  - I call our dear service manager AGAIN !  Don't worry Mel - I'll handle it - he calls back in a little while - OK - he understands that we are transporting the vehicle and doing the repair in Savannah.  WHEW - OK - try to calm down.  By this time my folks have given up on me - they have left to go their own way and get out of my way.  I think DH and I retired to the balcony to try and find peace in the view and bury myself in my knitting.

In the midst of all this - I called Enterprise and asked for another vehicle.  I was not comfortable driving a sedan, I hated the smoke smell and I was told they were not at all sure they could put me in another vehicle- call and check back every day.

Day 6 - my next big worry is when is my vehicle going to be picked up???  Would a disgruntled tech who is losing a transmission job do something nasty to my vehicle?  would someone vandalize it? Is it properly locked and secured - WHERE OH WHERE is my wayward vehicle.  So I worry and I stew about all that.  I do bring myself to leave the condo for some retail therapy and a visit to Dixie Darlin' cross stitch shop.  My mom is shopping away and finding all kinds of goodies and I buy 1 chart and a couple of pieces of linen.  big whoop !

Called Enterprise and yes they had a SUV I could come and pick up - OK - let's go get it.  It was a GMC Terrain, a heavier vehicle than I am used to but at least it had a comfortable seat and I could see over the traffic.

 DH and I talk and we're going home - I would have left that minute had it not been 6pm - OK we're leaving in the morning so we set about packing..

My folks got home from their concert and were surprised we were all packed up but this was just the best thing to do at this point. I was having a miserable time, nothing was fun for me and we'd even had crappy food - oh the horror !! 

Friday we headed out over Ole Smoky - raining and nice cool temps  We stopped at our favorite farm stand in the No. Ga mountains and got a bountiful haul of fresh veggies, some cut right out of the field that morning.  We got BBQ from the purveyors on site - we already knew we liked their BBQ.  So we took off heading south with our BBQ in the bag and a car full of fresh veggies - we stopped about 30 - 45 min later by a lake and sat in the car eating our BBQ lunch.  we took off a few minutes later and as we got farther into north central ga. it started getting hotter - so I turned the A/C temp down - hotter - fan up - finally DH said - I don't think the A/C is working - OMG - you have got to be kidding - NO A/C in the hottest part of GA in the middle of the day - seriously - this can't be happening.  Luckily - I thought get DH on the Ipad and have him search in Thomson for an Enterprise store.  SUCCESS - there was one and I called them - YES - they were wonderful and they did have a SUV we could get into.  Halleluiah!!   So we pulled into Thomson - sweating, nauseous from the heat and worried about our veggies spoiling.  Off again - 30 min later - they were fast and efficient - we repacked our entire contents into a Hyundai - OK - well the A/C works GREAT!  Off we go - FINALLY arriving at our home at 9pm - safe and sound and cool ! 

That concludes the worst vacation I've ever had in my life.  Will I go back to Tenn.?  Oh yes I'm sure I will.  My intention was not to make all Tennesseans seem inept but just to dramatize the impact this debilitating situation had on me and my DH.  I meant no harm or disrespect to the residents of Tenn. in the telling of my story.

See you again soon I hope !  I hope you are enjoying the Dog Days of Summer and picking up a needle or two and keeping cool as you can!  Please come back and visit me again and tell me what  you've been doing to have fun ! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


July is almost over, it's been incredibly hot this month down here in the deep south.  I think they say it's hot everywhere in the US even places its supposed to be typically nice .  Well I'm just sick of it and it's way too early in the summer for me to feel this way.

I'm going to minimize how much I am beginning to hate summer and move right on to a few fun things we did in July.

Earlier this month our EGA chapter duClay based in Orange Park FL hosted a favorite teacher of ours Janeann Sleeman.  Please click the link to see photos from the class.  I was chairing the workshop and taking the class so I didn't get any photos of my own.  All the photos were taken by a chapter member and class participant Jill E. 
This is a photo of the wonderful kits for the class that Cathy at Inspired Needle. made up for our chapter. Cathy is a plural member of duClay and she does so many nice things for our chapter and is a great online shop to deal with.  The egg canvas is a Labors of Love easter egg , the first in a set of 3.  The stitch guide was also their creation.  Soooo adorable.

My summer as usual has been consumed with Camp Loopy knitting challenges.  Here is my goofy Loopy Ewe bag with my 5 prominent Camp Loop buttons.  Yep this is my 5th year participating, last year it was the agony of defeat when I didn't finish the last challenge on time.  Who knows about this time - every year it seems to get harder and harder. with the extreme heat - it never seems appealing to be sitting under a big wool anything and since I *AM* the Woolwoman - I almost always use wool to knit with.

Here is my camp loopy one project for June - the challenge was that it needed to either be lace, fair isle or intarsia I think.  I quickly picked lace and I thoroughly enjoyed knitting Antarktis by Janina Kallio.  I have picked another Janina pattern for CL 3 in August.

Here is  my never ending CL 2 project.  The challenge was to pick a pattern in your Ravelry library, file of patterns or whatever that you've had on your radar for a year or more and never knitted before.
I chose Zuni for my second challenge.  It's a great pattern but you had to do 600 yard minimum this month and therein lies the challenge for me.  This yarn is by Copper Corgi a hand dyer out of Savannah, one of my favorite places in the world.  The yarn is called Jones St which is a DK blend of merino wool, alpaca and silk, it's just gorgeous.  I hope to wear it down to Jones St this fall or winter and get a photo.  I was in Savannah last week with bag in hand but it was WAY too hot to consider a photo opp in downtown Savannah.

A parting shot of a great BBQ joint east of downtown Savannah on Marsh Island or something like that.  Wiley's Championship BBQ.  Part of the draw was that my dad is also "Wiley".  These folks really do BBQ competitions and used to be in the Atlanta area.  It was truly wonderful BBQ and we like to think we are very discriminating BBQ lovers.  We liked their NC vinegar sauce so much we brought home a pint.
Well friends - I am off to a needlework retreat tomorrow down in Sebring FL with our EGA chapter.  My mom and I will be roomies, there are 20 ladies from our chapter from as far away as PA (waving to Susan) coming to this retreat.  Usually I go to Sebring at least once a year for rug hooking but this time from the looks of it - I'll be knitting my fingers off to meet the 7/31 deadline for CL 2.  I truly hope I can finish and actually do some stitching with my friends.
Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog.  I hope you are all having a great summer sitting in your A/C and doing what makes you happy.

Thursday, June 23, 2016


Hello blog friends !

in struggling for a blog post title - I came across *jaded* - I use that word a lot but I didn't really realize it also meant 'lacking enthusiasm' .  Gees - that describes me perfectly today. 

First few days of summer and it feels like August to me.  It's been incredibly hot here in the deep south with record high temps already.  I'm already tired of summer and it just came the other day. 

I'll try not to be too much of a Debbie downer in this post but a lot of negative things have been happening around my house.  2 weeks ago my DH cut his arm pretty severely on a yard tool and we ended up in ER all day.  Stitches are out but he and I both were really shaken up by the accident.  I've never seen so much blood in my carport and kitchen.  Took me 40 min to get home to get him to the ER.  He did a good job of tying off the wound but not before he bled thru 2 tshirts, 2 bath towels and was on his 3rd by the time I got home.

Yesterday I was told I needed a root canal and crown - the first in my life and from the cost of it - I hope the last !

On a much happier note - I recently had a "FAYE" day where I got a fabulous box of finishes from Faye of Carolina Stitcher fame.   I happen to have the neatest dad in the world - he stitches all kinds of things for my mom and I - BIG things that I would have a hard time finishing.  For a surprise at Christmas time - he gifted me this wonderful Shepherds Bush stocking.  YIPPEE - Oh yes - I have 1 or more of these patterns in my vast stash but have I ever gone beyond a few stitches on one - ummmm- nope!  Isn't this a beautiful finish from Faye!

Here is the lining fabric and silk for the backing.  All Faye's own choices of fabric.  AWESOME!  I love it and so did my folks.  Now my mom is getting on the stocking list.

This is Big Fish by Carriage House Samplings - poor fishy has been finished for years.  I even had a beautiful piece of wool stashed with him.  I planned to do the rustic finish similar to what Kathy had on the chart cover.  Faye worked her magic and made a wonderful prim finish with chenille to match the wool.
look at the awesome detail on the hanger.  Such a simple but effective finish for my fishy.

When I saw this "sleeping bag" for projects on stretchers or scrolls a few months back on Faye's blog - I knew I had to have one.  As an avid needlepointer - I am always hauling around a small piece of np on a frame.  What could be better than a matching project roll.

Perfect fabric choices as well.  How did Faye know my favorite color was green!

Here is the inside of the project roll and again - just such attention to small details that really make such an impact.

This dear design has laid around for 3 or 4 years - nothing ever struck me as to how to finish it off.  Oh it would be a good pin pillow or flat fold finish but WOW - is this ever a great use of this little piece and looking at these photos are just brightening up my mood.  I don't get many finishes and sometimes that is depressing in itself but getting this box from Faye really made my day.
In my last post - I mentioned that Camp Loopy was about to start on June 1st.  I can't believe this is the 5th summer I've participated in this fun virtual camp with  The Loopy Ewe.  Sheri the owner is one of the best online marketers I've ever seen.  I love buying from TLE even though sometimes its tricky with colors.
Well TA DA - I finished my first CL project well ahead of the 6/30 deadline.  This is just a crappy scrunchy photo when it was still on the needles.  This is Antarktis by Janina Kallio.  Janina is a Finish knitwear designer.  What better place to live and be a knitter than in Finland.  For some reason I have become enamored with her designs.  I guess because it's so dang hot here - the light airy look of her designs just make them more appealing for our climate.  Her designs can be found on Ravelry for the knitters out there but I linked to her blog.  take a look at her beautiful studio space, wow!  Wish I could visit there.  In my typical fashion to try and always use a "new to me" yarn for Camp Loopy, this is Sweet Georgia Bulletproof Sock.  It was a blend of about 4 fibers.  Interesting but not quite my cup of tea.  It's blocking now so my opinion may improve when I see how it blocks out.

 Here is another Janina design called Herald.  I bought this yarn at the new LYS Yarn Cow.  I saw someone post on Rav this same exact yarn and colorway who did a Herald and it was gorgeous.  I instantly knew this was a good fit for this lovely skein of Louisa Harding wool blend.
I hope this now happy post finds all my blog friends well and enjoying a little summer crafting bliss.
It's vacation time, it's summertime and the living is easy - or so they say.  I'll keep repeating that and see if I can absorb that good karma.  Until we meet again - have a lovely summer season doing what you love to do.