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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Welcome Summer

                                       Happy First Day of Summer
The first day of summer brings me back to my childhood days of eagerly waiting for the last school bell to ring signaling the end of the school year and endless days of sunshine, tree climbing, berry picking, trips to the beach, chasing fireflies, skinned knees and playing outdoors with every kid in the neighborhood from dawn till dark.

While I may no longer get those skinned knees, climb trees or play outdoors from dawn til dark, I do take trips to the beach, I'd chase fireflies if there were any here in Florida.  I do spend as much time outdoors as possible, though usually in the early part of the day to beat the summer heat most of my playing outside the gym or frolicking at the beach is with needle and thread or a good book both of which give me as much pleasure as those activities I did as a child.

Wishing all of you a safe and happy summer!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Cloudy Sunday Skies and Slow Stitching

A few days ago my youngest sister posted on Facebook she was in the hospital with blood clots in her heart and lungs and an aneurysm in her heart, complications of the blood thinners her doctor put her on for a blood clot in her leg a few days prior.  Oh and she recently had a heart attack that she didn't know she had. ( I'm familiar with that one myself).
She is currently in ICU and wreaking havoc with her IV pulled out twice while she was trying to get comfortable, twice her husband hit the emergency call button in error and she is ticked off because she can't have salt or caffeine ugh yeah you are a heart patient yesterday she ranted because they didn't give her ketchup.  At least she is keeping her sense of humor about her while she endures endless testing and blood transfusions and I used to think I was a difficult patient.  I am but that's another story for another day.  So while I am posting today on a positive note with plans made everything can change in a flash.

On the stitching front after more tweaking than I care to admit I have finally begun the stitching on the Summer of Love Stitch at Home Challenge, here is a little peek at my progress:
a good start
The progress on the Zenbroidery Peace Symbol is progressing nicely despite my apprehension of the fabric stiffness I really enjoy stitching with it. I am using mostly variegated embroidery floss:
stitching along
A little over a week ago I purchased some lovely hand dyed threads/floss from an Etsy shop, the colors are just beautiful and the threads reminded me so much of the seaside I just had to have them.
Beach Colors
The assorted threads are from a sampler packet the colors just spoke to me whispering sandy beaches, tide pools and sea shells:

And the single blue just says ocean to me so I will be drafting a few designs over the next few weeks.
Here is a link to the Etsy shop. https://www.etsy.com/shop/colourcomplements  I will be visiting it again soon to buy more since one can never have too much embroidery floss or fibers.

In a few weeks I will be heading to down to the gulf coast of Florida for some rest and relaxation on Sanibel Island for a much needed vacation. So yesterday I headed out to Barnes and Noble to pick up a book or two, I had one book in mind that I wanted to get and I'd see what else caught my attention, I had my membership card and two 20% off coupons in purse, I just love a bargain.  So I browsed and found the book I planned to buy thinking it would make a good beach read:
I found a few other books my guilty pleasure three cozy mysteries to crack open when my fingers are too sore or stiff to stitch. 
Then I headed over to the crafts section to see what was on the shelves in the embroidery category, not much two books I already had and a copy of Embroidered Mandalas which wasn't in very good shape, some of the pages were bent and wrinkled, some felt loose too beat up to buy so I passed on it but did jot down the title.  I headed for the checkout with my books, handed the clerk my member card and to my disappointment didn't have my coupons with me, I had grabbed two JoAnn's coupons and stuffed them in my bag.  I did save ten percent and I have my beach read and a few others so all is good.
When I arrived home there sitting on my side table are the coupons, all was not lost, I went to Barnes and Noble website and ordered the embroidered mandalas book, which online was 30% off, I had my 20% off coupon and membership gives me free shipping.  Oh I do love a bargain,
The Mandalas book has 25 iron on designs to use in spiral bound book so I can easily iron the design onto my fabric.  I don't know about you but when I trace patterns with intricate designs I always miss something or my hand goes awry and the older I get the worse my tracing is.  Here is a link for the book. https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/embroidered-mandalas-lark-crafts/1124986242?ean=9781454710417

I'll need to prepare my stitchery projects to bring along with me on vacation though I may just start a new project or two to work while I'm away.   
This sweet little piece on a hexie I may trace and work on vacation is from the new issue of American Quilter magazine arrived with my Yoga journal I haven't had the time to read them so I'll pack and take along with me.
The cover on the AQ reminded me one day I want to make a Mariners Compass quilt may be this is the year.  I am linking up at Kathy's Quilts today for Slow Sunday Stitching here is a link why don't you hop on over and take a look at what other bloggers are slowly stitching today:
https://kathysquilts.blogspot.ca/2017/06/slow-sunday-stitching_18.html

MONDAY JUNE 19th UPDATE on Summer of Love:
My stitching was certainly slow yesterday but I did get further on with the Summer of Love challenge piece.
The vines are complete and several of the leaf sections are done. Today I will be working to finish the remainder of the leaves then move unto the peace symbol. I'm linking my post over at Super Mom No Cape: http://www.supermomnocape.com/vintage-embroidery-monday-and-stitchery-link-party-115/
Where other bloggers are working on hand embroidery projects stop on over and have a look.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Started Peace Zenbroidery

On Sunday evening I finally got started on the Zenbroidery Peace Symbol. I purchase the kit a few months ago but as always other projects came along or needed finishing so this one fell by the wayside until now.
Peace started
I wouldn't exactly call this a kit, the kit included the printed fabric, a needle and stitching ideas. I'm
the kit
not exactly pleased with the fabric which is 50/50 cotton/polyester and rather stiff I thought about washing it first then it dawned on me the printed lines would wash away, at least I hope they will wash out.  I thought of adding a backing fabric piece for the stitches as I do with many of my other hand embroidery projects but that idea fell by the wayside too.
I pressed the piece once again before I began stitching and when I passed my needle through the fabric I was quite surprised how easily it went through, the stiffness I thought would make it harder to stitch was quite easy to stitch.  Some of the lines are a bit heavy so if they don't wash out I will need to use more strands of thread so working with 3, 4 and may be even 6 strands at times should be interesting.  I thought about crayon tinting the piece before I stitched which would have helped cover some of the black lines. but I want to experiment using fill in stitches like I used on some of the leaves of the winter goddess.
leaves with fill in stitches


I don't have any floss colors pulled from my stash for the Peace symbol I'm just going to go with the flow and whatever color strikes my fancy at that moment I'll use.  I will be joining the linky party over at Super Mom No Cape today pop on over and take a look at what other bloggers are working on and pick up a free hand embroidery pattern, today is shells and fish.
http://www.supermomnocape.com/vintage-embroidery-monday-and-stitchery-link-party-114/

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Winter Goddess Hand Embroidery is Complete

Once again it is Sunday and time for some slow stitching which lately for me has meant really slow, but things do progress even when you work slow the hand embroidery on the winter goddess piece is complete and after all my doubts I can say she looks okay.  I still have no idea what to do with her so for now she will go in to be decided box. I finished stitching her on Friday evening.
stitching complete
Many times I just find a pattern I like with no real direction in mind except to hand embroider it so I do. Same thing happens with designs I make myself,  I just know I want to embroider it but after that no clue.  Perhaps some day I will gather those pieces together and make a quilt or a stitchery book. For me it doesn't much matter my joy comes from the act of stitching each piece, it is by far the most relaxing form of meditation I have found so far.

On Thursday morning I managed to squeeze in time for a trip to the library to pick up a few books to read during those times when I either don't feel like stitching or just need to give the fingers a rest.
this week I'm reading
These should keep me busy for a few days, I started the Sparrow Sisters on Friday while we were having one of those heavy rain storms and a cup of tea and a good book was the order for the afternoon.
I will be linking my post at Kathy's Quilts https://kathysquilts.blogspot.ca/2017/06/slow-sunday-stitching_11.html

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Slow Stitching on a Cloudy Sunday

On Friday we finally got some more rain the day began overcast and by mid morning the rains began and continued on most of the day, quite heavy at times, we needed it.  The weather forecast is for cloudy days and some showers through Wednesday and I sure hope we get some significant rain the area is so dry and brown.

The humidity makes it rather uncomfortable so I stay inside and what better way to spend an overcast sticky day than to slow stitch the day away, oh and get in a few loads of laundry too.

A few days I posted the progress I had made on the winter goddess so today I will post what I have done so far today.
June 4
The work I did prior to today is shown in the below photo as I mentioned in my earlier post I seem to
be dragging my feet on this piece, I'm not sure if I no longer like the piece or if I'm just reaching the point where I need a break from hand embroidery but I plan to keep stitching on her today and than put her aside for a short break.

I'll take a short break to do a little bit of reading later today my newest issue of Florida Gardening is waiting along with Make it Yourself magazine I picked up last week.


I love the Florida Gardening magazine, I have found it to be very helpful with garden planning, planting and other garden needs in Florida. There is an article on Basil I plan to read through today.,

I will be linking up to Kathy's Quilts today https://kathysquilts.blogspot.ca/2017/06/slow-sunday-stitching.html

On Monday I'll be linking up to the linky party at Super Mom No Cape
http://www.supermomnocape.com/

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Hello June

Well Hello June you have arrived and brought with you our first mid-day rains which is much needed. Today also marks the start of hurricane season which we really don't need but those daily rain showers would be nice.
I have been working on my winter Goddess hand embroidery piece though I am kind of dragging my feet on it, I'm just not sure I even like the piece at this point and keep asking myself if I want to finish it.


Here is a look at my ORTS from January 1st to June 1st I'd say I accumulated a nice little pile of bits and pieces of threads, floss and some yarn too. Not bad for 6 months of stitching my jar is half full.
Orts January to June
Orts Jar
I have a new project I plan to start crocheting this month, it's this lovely Ruana pattern from Two of Wands I bought a few weeks ago.

I don't usually crochet during the warm weather season but I just loved this pattern when I first saw it I knew I wanted to make it right away. Here is a link to the site I purchased the pattern from:
There are other crochet patterns and some lovely knitted patterns too. 

I want to use the Shawl in a Ball yarn I purchased a few months ago from Lion Brand yarn I was just waiting for the right pattern, I think this is the one. Here is a link for the yarn http://www.lionbrand.com/yarn/shawl-in-a-ball-yarn.html
I also need to get started on the Stitch at Home Challenge embroidery project the August 15th deadline will be here before I know it so its time to stop tweaking and get stitching.