Sunday, March 11, 2018

Springing Forward with Time

It's that time of year where we set the clocks ahead one hour so we know Spring isn't too far behind, but weather wise it sure doesn't feel like it. 

The evening temps have been in the 30's again which means the early mornings are quite cold, so I shifted my morning walks about an hour or two later a few times this week.  It's warmer this morning and we are expecting rain later in the day, we can sure use it. 

The progress on the Spring hand embroidery project is coming along, though looking at the knot work I wonder if I should have used a stem stitch.
I thought this guy was completed but I noticed I have to stitch the pupil of the eye, sigh it will wait till I'm ready to stitch the moon. 
I will be linking up at Kathy's Quilts today for slow Sunday stitching here is the link if you would like to see what other bloggers are slow stitching.

I'm still making the time for trips to the library and logging books read for the Library Love Challenge.
A biography by Karen Karbo was the first book read for March,
Lisa Van Allen's the Wishing Thread was suggested bu a friend and to my surprise I enjoyed it just enough to keep turning the pages. 
The book I am currently reading is the latest in a series by Amanda Lee, I love a cozy mysteries.
The first two books listed qualify for the other reading challenge I am doing, both are new to me authors.
Well that's all I have for now, I am off to the Master Gardener's Spring Festival today I am looking
for a quirky piece for my garden and maybe pick up a few plants to replace some of what I lost to the winter freezes.  Wandering around among plants and garden decor is a perfect way to spend a few hours and the weather has warmed to a comfortable 60.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Update on March Hare stitching

Here's the stitching update for the spring piece I am working on, it is March Hares done in pastel colors for spring. I am using a piece of linen from an old dress my friend Jeanne sent me, when I saw the fabric I knew I wanted to embroidered a piece of it with my mind made up I pressed the cloth and cut off a generous piece.  The pattern is printed out on Pellon's Stitch and Wash Away which measure 8x11". 
Left side knot work

Center bottom eggs and knot work

right side knot work

Now on to stitch the Hares and moon.  I will link up today over at Supermom No Cape where other bloggers from all over post what they are hand embroidering stop in and have a look, be inspired and pick up a free vintage pattern.

Monday, March 5, 2018

March winds blow in some frigid air

There is an old saying regarding weather during the month of March. If March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb (and vice versa). March is a changeable month, containing the vernal equinox, two full moons and being the transitional month between the cold and snows of winter and the warm greening days of spring we can only hope it will go out like a lamb?

March is certainly coming in like a lion here in Florida and most other places throughout the U.S. On the 1st of March we began the day with mild spring like weather but as is common with the weather quickly changed with the stirring winds and by the weekend once again early morning temperatures were at 35 degrees. As I see it March came in like a lion wilting the beautiful blooms on my rhododendron, I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of spring! As I'm sure the rest of you are.

I am currently working on a new hand embroidery piece for Spring, the start of this project began with a piece of linen fabric from a dress my friend Jeanne sent me all the way from Kansas.

I used Pellon's Stitch and Wash Away to print out the pattern which I do when the pattern has lots of detail that I know I would surely wobble tracing those lines and since the fabric is darker tracing on the light box might be difficult as these old eyes don't see as well as they used to even in the best of light.

I finally put together a small stone cairn pendant ending it off with a piece of beach glass found many years ago. 

I love rocks, stones and crystals and have a small collection in boxes and bowls throughout my house. My collection of beach/sea glass has dwindled down over the years, I rarely find it on the beaches here in Florida and I don't think I ever found a piece at any of the springs, lakes, rivers here, perhaps its time for a trip north or northwest for a beach glass hunting expedition.

I did some house hunting in the Kissimmee area, mainly checked out a few of the neighborhoods and looked at a few model homes to get an idea of room sizes etc. I want to check out Winter Park and Altamonte Springs over the next week or so. 
I've been reluctant to the idea of moving farther south and I'm not fond of all the city traffic on the major highways and in some parts of nearby cities, yet it does hold a bit of excitement for me and there is access to so much more as far as shops, museums, theaters not to mention parks and little cafes. 

The other day I was cruising around town running errands and the K-Mart is closing, not just any K-Mart mind you but the one that has been here from the first days I lived here, I felt like I was punched in the gut, then as I was driving home the Circle K gas station was gone, not closed but bulldozed to nothing but a big ole empty space with earth moving equipment behind a chain link fence, again another business that was from my first days living here, I felt so sad yet as I was driving home I took it for a sign that it was time for me to move on from Ocala. 
So now I'll look a little more closely at the houses we tour and try to find one with a nice pool in the back cause I figure if I'm moving to or near Orlando I should at least have a pool so I can avoid driving in all that traffic and lay about the pool. 

One of the houses has this wonderful backyard view from the screened in lanai, this is how my next backyard should look. 
I would want a space to lay down my yoga mat though I suppose the lanai would do.  I love all the stones instead of grass, it just looks so serene and inviting.  My backyard did have a nice little spot for yoga with a few pieces of statuary and potted plants to provide some privacy unfortunately while on vacation two years ago everything was stolen I didn't bother to replace it. Number one requirement for my next house is a fenced yard though I love the wall in the photos.

I will leave you with a little March poem, weather reports forecast a major snow storm for the northeast by mid week.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

A 5th Birthday Party and Slow Stitching on Sunday

February is moving by in a flash more so because it's been a busy month with birthdays to celebrate and blood work for doctor's appointments that for once came out on a positive side.  Yesterday was my great niece Tessa's 5th birthday party complete with bouncy castle and pony rides. The day was sunny with a nice breeze just perfect for a bunch of 5 year olds to run and bounce around, water bottles were everywhere.
Bouncy castle
Reggie the donkey and Millie pulling cart
The donkey in the background the kids brush and decorate with leis and hats, boas and generally just enjoy petting and talking to him.  After the pony cart rides each of the kids got to ride Grace
Tessa  riding Grace
I waited patiently for her birthday to get here so I could get her a bicycle I was going to get her one for Christmas I wanted to wait I didn't want to overwhelm her at Christmas time. 
My sister mentioned she had recently asked for a new bike as she outgrew the toddler size one she had so I thought it would be the perfect time to get her one.  She has such a hold on my heart my life is so much fuller with her in it.

Another Sunday for some slow stitching, I have been gathering my supplies together for a new project I am going to begin later today, in the meantime I am still stitching a project I started a few months ago. I left off at the bees I worked on the honeycomb and vines last night.
My new project is being made for someone so I can only give a peek at some of the parts but as you
can probably tell it does include some bare tree branches which can take forever to draw and erase and draw again and again before finally tracing it on to my fabric.  This time I used one of the Frixion fine point pens so if I need to make a change I can iron the lines and start again. 

A short time ago a friend requested a special piece to be made into a prayer flag she wants to send her friend I completed the hand embroidery on the Goddess and Hares prayer flag piece last Sunday.
The edges stay unfinished so that it unravels in the breeze, I'll add a small rod pocket on the back or possibly two small grommets at the top for ease of hanging.
I will be posting at Kathy's Quilts today here:  stop on over and check out what other bloggers are slow stitching on this fine Sunday.

My latest check up at the doctors went well my blood work numbers all came back pretty much in my favor, the best improvement was in my A1C test which came back as 5.8 still pre-diabetic but much better than the 6.5 and 6.8 over the past few years.  I have been working diligently to get that number down and my work is paying off, all my cholesterol numbers have improved, my overall number is still higher than I would like so now that is my focus. 

As a heart attack survivor my aim has been to get and keep my numbers all in the normal range which I did well doing up until about 18 months ago when every thing seemed to go sideways.  My main goal for 2018 is to get back my good health and so far what I am doing is working, even my blood pressure is cooperating.  I picked up a cold two weeks ago and just when I thought I was better when boom bronchitis! doctor put me on antibiotic and steroids to fight the worst of it.  My daily walks were interrupted while I was sick last week but now that I am feeling better on the way home from the birthday party I stopped at my favorite park to walk off the birthday cake a fitting end to a perfect sunny Florida day.

Friday, February 16, 2018

February TUSAL Report

With the new moon riding dark in the sky last night and me fighting round two of that nasty winter bug I forgot to post my Orts report yesterday,  I think the antibiotics make me loopy or maybe its just being so tired from coughing. But here they are my February orts, not as many as I would have hoped for but more than I thought I had.

My February orts are from a few small projects I stitched most of the threads are pink and red which fit the month well. There is the love birds heart which is done in variegated floss
It was from a free pattern provided by a stitch along group I am in, the red floss bits are from the redwork heart for the EGA stitch along 
I used DMC floss 498 for the redwork heart its one of the few floss colors in red I like to use when doing redwork.  The other threads are bits from the Brigid's Day piece I made and the 2018 TAST practice and crazy quilt squares I am working.  I am linking my page to It's Daffy Cat for the TUSAL report if you are curious click the link and check it out.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Reading Challenge Update.

I just finished reading another book for both the 2018 Library Love Reading Challenge and the
2018 Try Something New Challenge the book is a library book and a new to me author so I will

check both challenges for this book Murder on the Rocks by Karen MacInernery. It was a fun read

a light or cozy mystery one of my favorite genres to read. I just started reading Just Desserts by G.A McKevett, another new to me author.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Slow Stitching Medal

Today over at Kathy's Quilts since it's an Olympics Week she thought it would be fun to see who would win the slowest stitcher gold medal in the slow stitching competition,she is working on a quilt from 1996, well yesterday I pulled out one of my oldest quilts to stitch it's from 1989, I'll be working on it again today.
This log cabin is the first quilt I made it is hand pieced and hand quilted, I started piecing in October 1989 and finished the quilt top in November, midway through the quilting part I broke my left arm in 3 places on December 29th and had to put it away for several long months while I was recovering, so it was placed in a box and pretty much forgotten about for a few years. Two years after my recovery I did begin working on it again, then lost my mother and so back in the closet it went while I decided on the next chapter of my life which would include a permanent move to Florida in 1994,  since living here in Florida in the winter months I take it out when the temps drop low to work on it.
I think you may be able to see the quilting thread where I left off last night.  Every other block has the patchwork heart which was cut from yardage that actually coordinates with one of the log cabin strips.

Looking close you can see not all of the strips are precisely cut, all of the strips were cut with scissors after being traced onto fabric using a cardboard template, still my favorite way to cut fabric. I love that some of the pieces are wonky like me slightly imperfect.  I took me nearly 3 weeks to trace and cut all the pieces, my hands ached after a few hours of cutting and some days I didn't cut anything. In the past I think I hesitated to complete this quilt thinking it would close a door on a chapter of my life I wasn't ready to let go of,  but lately stitch by stitch I see myself making my way to the end.
I am linking up my oldest UFO over at Kathy's Quilts today here is the link
lets go over and see some other old UFO's that other bloggers may be working on.

One of these days I will finally get the Dresdan plates I made put on a background then that will be my oldest UFO to finish, I began that in 1979.  I have to get into my project bin soon and dig them out.