Not a good two weeks…fast becoming not a good month

… and the prospects are looking bleak.

It all started with the World Series. I sat in my chair for every inning since the wild card playoffs began and stitched. If stitching could help the Royals win I would stitch.

First let me say that the Boys in Blue are winners 14-10-06 Royalseveryone. There has never been such a group as this (and I was around 29 years ago); these young men are a class act, none finer.

I stitched three round disks (these will be finished as ornaments) and then got the brainy idea to stitch a 3-14-11-14 royal AD baseball for the World Series. I researched the pattern, drew what I thought was exactly what I researched and began stitching. Let me say that while I was stitching it looked great to me.

14-11-14 royal BThe problems began October 29th at 7:15 PM; not only for the Boys in Blue but for the stitched baseball. As I started to put it together I realized my proportions were off. But I decided to preserver and let what may be…BE. Well, we all know the outcome 14-11-14 royal Cof the 7th game and my 3-d baseball was no better. BUT if large cowpie baseballs every come into vogue…I have the first.14-11-14 royal D

Should I try this again I think I will invest in a baseball and take it apart for the exact pattern. But really I’m thinking round disk ornaments are just as good and less time consuming.

And then things went from bad to worse… Our Lucy 14-11-14 lucy dtore her ACL and is not a candidate for surgery (her age and other medical problems keep her from this. So Lucy is confined to the house, no jumping, no stairs, just lying around taking life easy. She gets her leg taped like the sports guys with KT tape (http://www.kttape.com/)…this is 14-11-14 lucy bgreat stuff, going to try on my back. We cut the tape to her size and apply it in a figure eight. She likes this and it comes in pink her favorite color.

14-11-14 lucy cShe also goes twice a week for laser treatments; doesn’t she look like something from “Back to the Future”?14-11-14 lucy e

But her favorite is the 3 times a day she gets heat on her leg.  She thinks this is the best and would lie there all day if you let her.

And then the weather is the icing on my month…record breaking low temperatures and snow… I am just not ready for this! Especially the snow, it is putting a damper on my social schedule! Our guild was supposed to get stitch-in tomorrow and there is nothing more fun than friends, food and stitching. Well, because of the snow we have canceled this and I’ll just have to sit in my stitching nest and stitch by myself…bummer.

Hope your month is going better than mine…although wherever you are I think it is cold and probably white or going to be white. Thank you for stopping by, I hope you stay warm and find time to stitch today and all week-end!

ttfn…sue

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More garden

I know I am rich…I have the love of a good family, many blessings and fairly good health for someone my age….and yesterday I got a $1500.00 trellis for my garden. That’s what my son told me as he was putting it in the ground.

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He figures each pair of crutches cost us at least $500, therefore I must have a $1500 trellis. But isn’t that the funniest thing you’ve ever seen? …My neighbor came over yesterday to see what we were doing, he stood there for about a minute and finally a big grin broke out across his face and he said great idea…gets them out of the basement. Repurposing at its best; I can hardly wait to see the snap peas on it.

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And Lucy is not sure whether this bench is going to be her new sunning spot or not.
Tomorrow it is getting cold again; they even used the snow word. It’s supposed to be May flowers not snow; 33-50 degrees rest of week…I’ll be working inside again. Must remember to pick lilacs and iris today, I’ll just bring spring inside for a while.
Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today!
ttfn…sue

Spring has come to my patiio

It has been cold, dark and damp here in the Midwest for most of April and that is both annoying and unusual…But Sunday spring finally arrived in the Midwest, the birds are sing about it and I am finding it difficult to remain inside. And especially since the weatherman said the end of the week is going to be cold (and yes, he used that flake word) and rainy. Imagine May and snow…unheard of. My flowers will not like this and neither will I…at least it will not last long.

As you all are probably getting tired of hearing about, since we combined households with one of our sons we got the best end of this deal! Now my patio & yard is looking to others how I envisioned it all along…like a patio and garden to enjoy. This week-end our son opened the patio, planted flowers and vegies, and built me a fountain for the patio. He used my Grandmother’s old wash tub and watering can…too cute and I love a fountain…water is so calming and so-o-o relaxing.

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And today Lucy (she’s in the picture) and I are taking full advantage of outdoor work space. I have flowers, fountain and sun to keep me distracted…no I have been working (computer in picture too), but it is hard.

And I am thinking about an outdoor siesta followed by sipping & stitching. Hope you all are having a spring moment too …

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today!
ttfn…sue

Let it snow,let it snow , let it snow

It has been snowing here since about six AM and I don’t here many complaints…we need the moisture! Our states (Mo and KS), many cities in and around Kansas City, and the counties have declared a State of Emergency…and so you should not be out unless it is an emergency. And you know it must be bad when our 24 hour grocery stores are closing until further notice and UPS has even suspended deliveries today. Roads and Interstates are closed all over the place. I’m glad I don’t have any place to go. And this is supose to keep up through tomorrow…we are expecting 12-18 inches of snow.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is what my back yard looks like so far and Lucy got a walkway shoveled for her.

I finished my Ninji Temari. It was an online stitch-in prepared by Jane Z for the members of Temari Challenge group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TemariChallenge/). This was a fun ball to stitch as well as a learning experience 13-02-21 temariand inspiration. The instructions for the ball are on the website, I think you just have to be a member and membership s free. As I was stitching the ball I saw many other possibilities and made notes so I could make more.

Making a temari has many challenges because they are hand wrapped balls. Some people use styrafoam balls as a base but I hand wrap mine from a tissue core. I start with a tissue and wrap the tissue with yarns and thread. They are really spheres and not perfect round balls. This was the biggest problem I had this time…Because after you get the temari made then you  measure and divide it according to the design.   I could not get my temari to divide correctly. It took me a couple days of measuring and adjusting to get the pins placed to what I thought was acceptable. I usually do not have this much trouble but it was a challenge this time. I even asked Jane Z if there were any tricks I needed to know and all she could offer was, “sometimes a ball is just a difficult challenge. ”

You can wrap a ball to an approximate size but this will usually vary a centimeter or so…at least that happens to me. This particular ball was made at the large of the suggested size range and therefore I thought needed an extra row added to each color wrap. Of course this made each step need a correction, but I did it. I’m lucky because I can see these in my mind and adjust pretty easily. And as I was stitching I saw other possibilities so I made notes on this so next time I can try one of the new ideas.

I also think the base thread color of the ball (black in this ball) should be used in the design portion of the temari. It will make the unevenness of the ball stitching appear less noticeable.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo since I am not going anywhere today, I think this is a cover up, keep warm and stitch day for me and a cup of  hot chocolate will work (I’ll have two marshmellows , thank you.) I think I’ll have to share my space with Lucy too (she’s not liking the walkway idea much either.)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If you are in this snowstorm too, keep warn and safe and if you are in the path (east and north of the Midwest) of this storm, look out here she comes! Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today!

ttfn…sue

Breakfast with the foxes, not Lucy!

 

Breakfast with the foxes on my patio, BUT you’d think they could take their leftovers home and not leave on my patio. Sorry so blurry but taken at 6:30AM, through a screen. One had a darker tail…wonder if that means anything. And also only one ate…other watched and left.

And Lucy, she was not in the least interested in her relatives…they woke her up!

What a week!

The old saying, “Time passes quickly when you’re having fun.” is apropos for this week.  This was the week that was…and truly it went by much too quickly…I’d like another, thank you very much. If nothing else was going on this week the weather was beautiful…and I caught a sever case of Spring Fever!

I could barely keep myself inside this week and had the doors open on several occasions…in February! Lucy sniffed every blade of grass in the yard and even wanted to play soccer. From 2 feet of snow on the ground to 70 degrees, love that Mother Nature!…but Jack Frost will be heard from again and not in the too distant future I’m sure.

It was also Valentine’s Day this week. My valentine bought us a picture I have wanted for a long time…Thomas Jefferson painted by Bob Holloway a local artist. I have several of his pictures and love them all. http://www.bobholloway.com/

I also purchased supplies to try needle felting. It looks like fun and something that could be applied to needlepoint as embellishments. I made a ladybug just to see if I could. Since I am not sure yet…was searching the internet last week and bookmarked several stops but haven’t gotten back to them yet. There will be more to come about needle felting I’m sure.

I also picked up a couple packages of rick rack to make rick-rack flowers. Kathy’s blog Shakl http://www.shawkl.com/search?updated-max=2011-02-11T09%3A21%3A00-06%3A00&max-results=10 told how to do them and I thought they looked like fun and something else that could embellish a needlepoint. When I was a the store picking up needle felting supplies I also picked up two packages of rick rack, I didn’t read the blog close before I left home to know which size to buy. I also bought a rick rack that was one sided (painted). I just had to cut my rick rack and make a couple adjustments. It would have been easier with one color but these turned out just fine for my first try.

Also made a large temari ball. I thought I might participate in Barbra Suess challenge but I may not have enough time since I played this week. You can read all about it and see Barb’s beautiful temari on her blog http://temaribarb.blogspot.com/  or her website  http://www.japanesetemari.com/ . But at least now I have one very large temari ball…unstitched

And poor bunny…well, he is still on the stretcher bars. All the black (except ears) is stitched. Started working on the turkey tuff tail but between the nice weather; trying my new projects; and oh yes I am suppose to be doing computer graphics for a teacher (sh-h-h, maybe she won’t notice it is taking me forever) I haven’t made much progress. I tried to stitch six thread lengths a day but I am about 24 threads behind this week…but who’s counting.

And that’s the week that was in the Midwest…and now I’m off to enjoy the rest of this beautiful day. Lucy and I are taking a walk and then we are cooking on the grill tonight. If Mother Nature wants to tease us, we are going to enjoy every moment!

 I hope everyone has beautiful weather too and if you can squeeze it in…time to stitch!  ttfn…sue

Bunny Progress

Good thing our streets are clean and my DH could get out this morning, otherwise we might have had to put sleeping pills in his coffee. I think he was beginning suffering from Cabin Fever, Brain Freeze or Snow Stupor, and maybe a combination of all. Yesterday, out of the clear blue he asked me if I was stitching the bunny because it was the Chinese Year of the Rabbit. I simple answered that I obviously needed to do more shopping, since my 100 or so rabbits with blue coats and carrots collection was too small for him to notice. That sent him to his computer and I did not hear from him until lunch.  

The then news media announced the Punxsutawney Phil in Punxsutawney Pa didn’t see his shadow and they would have an early spring. Well congratulations to the Pennsylvania folks; I am very happy for them and envious too. Because here in the Midwest, the rodent would have to have been blind not to see his shadow and so I’m guessing with out -10 degree temperatures with a wind chill of -15 it will be at least 6 more weeks until we see crocus and jonquils popping up through this snow. 

And with this bone chilling weather I am so-o-o-o very happy that I can stitch, compute and read. With my blanket (camouflage army liner for sleeping bag supplied by 2nd son from his army days, too warm) shared by Lucy and hot chocolate, I’m as snug as a bug in a rug! I can zone out and only have to face the harsh reality of the snow and cold when either Lucy needs to go out (and that is only when her eyes turn green and she’s walking with all four legs crossed) or I need more hot chocolate, nature or food calls me.  

The bunny is progressing nicely his coat and tail are completed and I have cut the felt for the tulips. Hopefully,  by the end of the today I should be finished with him and he should be heading to the finisher on Friday or Saturday. I do have a problem but it is not with the stitching, it is the materials I am planning on using. I decided the tulips should be appliqued and I am using felt. I had all but the one pink and so last week I headed out to find a pink that I could use. I was open to the possibility that my pink could be the lightest or the middle value. I went to two local national craft stores and then to the national fabric store. The felt is awful compared to what I bought just last year. I purchased one but it is almost paper-thin as you can see in the picture. Since I was at the fabric store I checked both in the craft area and the cut fabrics; most of the felts were thinner than ever, some were thicker but you could tell these colors were not the most popular colors and were probably older. When I got home I noticed that felt I purchased last year (yellow) was better than the felt I just purchased but was also a bit lighter than the stuff I’ve had for several years. I took a picture, hope you can see the differences…the top row are felts I have had, yellow is felt I purchased I last two years and pink is the newest. Since I seldom use felt and I have a nice stash of the older felt for my purposes I will have time to research and study other alternatives, but I sure feel sorry for those felt artists that love to work with this media, I thought the felt I saw was of poor quality. If you are a felt designer or artist out there, where do you get your felt and have you seen a difference in the quality of felt?

Okay, enough of the felt box stand, back to my stitching plan. I am planning to stitch the carrots with 2 colors of Epic wool (persimmon and sienna) in padded satin stitches. I’m going to pad the carrots with orange #3 DMC perle cotton. I will slant the stitches on three of the carrots to match the slant they are painted. I am planning on doing the leaves with a Radial Satin stitch using all 3 ply of the Emerald Watercolours as it comes out of the skein (I am NOT stripping this thread). I will then use #3 DMC perle cotton very dark green (890) to place the veins on the leaves in an Outline/Stem stitch when the leaves are completed. I’m going to stitch the center portion of the tulips in a Diagonal Mosaic with a dark value pink, medium value yellow and light value purple #3 DMC perle cotton to blend with my felts. Then I am going to stitch the petals of the tulips using felt and padding. I made one master petal pattern and then adjusted it according to the tulips on the canvas. I have also cut the appropriate padding from quilt batting that I keep for finishing ornaments and padding appliques. After all the flowers and carrots are complete I plan on stitching the carrot tops in a Fly stitch using 4mm overdyed green silk ribbon; and I will stitch the tulip stems in a Wrapped Chain Stitch using #3 DMC perle cotton very dark green. The basket will be stitched with #3 DMC perle cotton very dark brown (838) and Walnut Watercolours (NOT striped). I’m going to pad the very top with dark brown perle cotton 3 or 4 times and cover with an Overlapping Cross Stitch so it will look like a lip to the basket. Directly below this I am going to pad again with perle cotton 2-3 times and stitch a Diagonal Gobelin over this using the dark brown perle cotton very forth stitch and filling in with Watercolours. The body of the basket will be stitched in rows: #3 DMC perle cotton very dark brown (838) used for the Continental Stitch outlines filed with a giant rectangular Flat Stitch using the unstripped Watercolours.

Okay enough with the planning, off to get more hot chocolate, and then to some serious stitching today. Can’t believe I might have three posts in the same week…see there are some good things to come from cold and snow.

I hope everyone is staying warm and safe… AND I hope everyone will have time to stitch today!  ttfn…sue