Tuesday, February 21, 2017

February Happenings / dies Valentini Interrupit

February is a short month, and it seems most of it has been taken up by illness. My husband came down with something that wasn't the flu and was different from a cold so a mystery. It's still hanging on although he has gone back to work. I've been having some episodes of low blood sugar some quite scary. As in not being able to coordinate my movements. So a doctor's appointment is in my future. 

It doesn't feel like I've accomplished very much since my last post. Multiple trips up and down the stairs nursing the baby husband, walking around in a fog of Lysol fumes and the normal daily responsibilities -- well I sat down in the evenings to work on something and found myself waking hours later without having taken one stitch. 

I managed to clear the cobwebs and prop my eyes open here and there and finally finished Love & Be Loved by With Thy Needle & Thread. Looking at all of Brenda's market releases -- oh my goodness! 😜

And another tiny finish Hope part of the Little Sheep Virtue series by Little House Needleworks. I'm planning on stitching them together around a centerpiece. So in trying to center things and work things out, I've started parts of some of the other designs. 

Sheep seem to be a theme. I thought these were cute and I love the little houses, too. 

Valentine's Day is not a big event in our house. And even though I don't like the big mess that comes with baking nor the adventures (like things catching on fire etc.), in honor of Valentines Day and my husband's birthday, I thought I would give this recipe a try. I believe it was the allure of the jimmies. And they were pretty good! But 24 of them for three people? 😳

If you are interested in the recipe and maybe a few extra pounds...

We've been enjoying some unusually warm weather and oh, that gorgeous sunshine -- perfect for walking off any extra pounds. I think there might be a payback in the future (we've had some of our biggest snowfalls in March), but it's hard to think about that right now. 

Hopefully, the weather has been just as beautiful in your neck of the woods! Thanks for reading along and until next time take care!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Things Made of Yarn / Reading

I've been more interested in knitting and crocheting than stitching lately. It seems like everything I want to stitch involves fiddling with colors and fabric choices and I just haven't felt like making an effort. I think I'm in a mid-winter funk. 

I've been working on three things. My favorite (despite my troubles with it) being Circumnavigate. I can't believe I started over three times on this. No matter how careful I was it ended up twisted, but I persevered and celebrated each row that was knit without being twisted. The yarn is so soft, and I love the color (of course blue is a favorite) and color name -- Cloudy Sky!

Next is the Churchmouse Vintage Crocheted Blanket. This blanket originally started out as a Christmas gift for my sister but has become a present for her April birthday. I can be more mindless with crocheting than knitting, so this has probably been the most relaxing - very good to work on right before bed. 

And finally the Best Friend Scarf -- you've seen this before, and I don't know you may be seeing it forever because it seems to be the endless project. I keep saying "If it's the last thing I do I'm going to finish this thing!" and it may very well be the last thing I do at this rate. : ) Although it didn't make it for the intended Christmas gift I was hoping to make it for my daughter's birthday which is on Monday -- ha ha! I'm pretty sure it will be quite a while before I knit another scarf. And do you notice a pattern?? I'm terrible at deadline knitting/crocheting!

I'm hoping to possibly, maybe knit a sweater this year. Mary was kind enough to provide some helpful links, and I think I may have narrowed it down to two. Either the Go-To Cardigan or the Featherweight Cardigan. I had downloaded the pattern for the Featherweight Cardigan a while ago, and it seems doable -- emphasis on seems. It's not the stitches I have a problem with but sometimes interpreting what the pattern is asking me to do so we will see.

I'm still not settled on a reading plan for the year. I'm currently reading three books -- The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History which I'm finding very hard to put down. Anna Karenina which I'm enjoying now that I'm more accustomed to the writing style and The Plague of Doves.

We had some wild weather yesterday - a nor'easter which brought some very scary winds that have lingered into today although thankfully not quite as brisk. I find the wind to be a little unsettling as does Lola. She has been very wary -- sure someone is trying to come in the door. : ) At least I caught her upright for a change. It seems she spends most of her time asleep - in the linen closet.


Well, this post ended up being a lot longer than I intended so until next time -- wishing you peace!

p.s. I think spring is only about 55 days away!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

New Year / New Beginnings

Happy New Year??? We ushered in the new year a little chilly. Our heater decided that it didn't want to spend 2017 with us and went to that big appliance graveyard in the sky. It has given us problems here and there over the last few years, so it wasn't a complete surprise. It didn't make writing that huge check that began with an eight any easier, though. 

To make sure the technicians had enough working room, we had to do quite a bit of rearranging and sorting out - which I found strangely energizing. Some of that energy carried over into a good sort out of my stitching, sewing, reading, etc. room. I didn't realize how energy sapping that room had become because of the clutter and messiness. Anyway, all of this clearing and sorting delayed any stitching or other fun endeavors until a few days after the new year. But a new year is all about new beginnings - so I'm off to a good start.

While goals can certainly be a good thing, I'm thinking of steering clear of them this year. I do have some loose plans - more about them at a later date. 

I'm also going to be fighting against my tendency to jump on bandwagons and join challenges, _____-a-thons, SALs, KALs, etc. I'm attracted to them like a moth to a flame, and they seldom end well (as in not finishing). Although I'm sure there will be exceptions. : ) 

So far as the Goodreads challenge - I'm still on the fence about it - maybe? I am working on a list of books I would like to read this year so we will see. I did finally finish The Goldfinch which I always want to call The Nightingale. I love Donna Tartt's writing style and could have given that a five-star rating but I didn't particularly care for the characters and all of the drugs/wasted potential - very sad.

This is becoming very wordy, so onto a few stitching finishes! 

The Christmas Bird
With Thy Needle & Thread

The Bird Collection Part III
Heartstring Samplery

My blog may be changing a little. I've never really thought of it as an online journal before or really as anything but a place to put stitching/book related things but I'm thinking of including other things here as well. I appreciate each and every one of you who stops by, and I always appreciate your comments, so I hope whatever my blog becomes in the new year you will continue to visit and maybe even leave a comment.

Hope everyone's new year has gotten off to a good start!

P.S. Since I started this post we have had our oven catch on fire, so I think we will be shopping for a new stove in the next few days. Let's hope that is the end of our appliance adventures for a while.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Re-Connecting Again And --

Hoping - to climb out of my funk and find my words again because I've felt strangely empty and silent lately -- and the sooner, the better because it is after all the season to be merry!

Still trying to come to terms with - celebrating number fifty-five back in October. For someone who doesn't think in terms of age, it sure did knock me for a loop and I think is at least partly responsible for my funk -- I mean it's just a number, right? 

Knitting - the Best Friend Scarf. The yarn is from Brew City Yarns, and the colorway is Wine In A Sippy Cup. Both the pattern and the yarn are very aptly named. It's for my daughter who is one of my very best friends, and we have both been known to enjoy our wine, although, not out of sippy cups.

Currently Reading - The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. I don't know if I've ever used the word delightful before, but that is the perfect word for this book! I'm very much looking forward to reading the other books in the series. I'm still trying to finish up the books I wanted to read for Book Bingo - only one more to go! And speaking of Book Bingo, I was very surprised to find my name picked in the drawing for a prize (an Amazon gift card) which I used to purchase -- more books!

Watching - Binge watched my way through Mad Men - for the ? time. Currently watching The Kettering Incident and Mozart in the Jungle on Amazon Video. I've only watched the first episode of The Kettering Incident, but have a feeling it may be a while before I get back to it as I'm very much enjoying Mozart in the Jungle. The music in it is making me wish we still had our subscription to the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Stitching - Recently finished Where the Bittersweet Blooms by Brenda Gervais.

Preparing for - Christmas? Just another reminder of how quickly time moves - almost ready for a new year.

Thanks for reading -- hope you are all in the holiday spirit and if you are interested, there are some good things here!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Finishes/Beach Day

I think back to the beginning of the summer and in retrospect that ambitious list we made of things we wanted to do this summer.
 Then things happened. First...the weather. Wow, it has been tropical here, and the mosquitoes are no joke! I don't remember July and  August disappeared in the blink of an eye. For most of the month, vertigo = a lot of bed time. And my father who has become less and less mobile had a fall. Many hours spent at my parents' house where there is no internet. You are in the middle of all of this acreage looking for a spot where you can get a fleeting signal.

I have finished a few things, though.

Rosewater by Janina Kallio

With Thy Needle & Thread's June Word Play - June's Door Bells

A small Lizzie Kate piece - Be Silly

And more recently the 1861 Antique Sampler from the In Friendship's Way book

I liked the colors Nan Lewis of Threadwork Primitives shared on Facebook - Onyx, DMC 869, Toasted Barley, Gingersnap, (my change) Camouflage, Baked Apple, and Tin Bucket. I wish I could photograph a true representation of the colors - oh well.

I was doing a pretty good job of being a one at a time stitcher, but lately, I've had a problem sticking with one thing. I think I may start Mermaid Fraktur by Plum Street Samplers

This summer has been a little stressful, so it was good to steal a bit of time and go the beach for the day. There is something so peaceful about the crashing waves and the sounds of the seagulls. I could easily live at the beach.

Love the mermaid

and the flowers

Me in the distance

It was a somewhat hazy day, but you can still see Atlantic City

We certainly got our steps in for the day - not sure who set a goal of 4000 steps lol???

I'm hoping to be home a little more and looking forward to visiting and commenting on blogs once again. I appreciate those of you who stick with me as blogging seems to be falling out of favor. And I apologize to those of you whose emails went unanswered. That is most inexcusable, and I hope you will forgive me. Also, do you know if you are a no-reply blogger? Sometimes when I try and respond to a comment I discover a no-reply blogger - just wondering.

Enjoy the remaining days of summer!

P.S. Am I the only one sad about the end of summer despite the somewhat extreme heat?

Monday, September 12, 2016

Book Bingo/Best Laid Plans

I wanted to read all of the books I chose but as you can see didn't even come close.

I really enjoyed what I read with a few exceptions-

The Woodcutter by Reginald Hill 
The Plague by Albert Camus

My favorites-

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer 
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Instead of Better Than Before in the Self-help square I read Taking The Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears. And I did finally finish listening to (after the bingo deadline) Centennial by James Michener another five star book - and more Michener in my future for sure.

I do plan to read the rest of my chosen books by the end of the year. I appreciate Mary letting me join in - it was nice to play along!

And I added a few new books to my TBR pile

A lot has been going on, but I think I'm  going to be home for a short while, so I hope to be back a little later with another post. And fingers crossed no more computer/internet problems!

Thanks everyone for reading along!