Sunday, January 14, 2018

Anybody home??? on a Slow Stitching Sunday....

Sooooo... its been two weeks since I posted here...sorry... gonna blame in on holidays falling on a Monday that get me all discombobulated.  With the MLK holiday tomorrow that will make 3 of the last 4 weeks with a Monday holiday... even looking at my phone I'm still not sure what day it is.

Well, I was going to keep my Christmas decorations up till this week when my quilty ladies mini group is coming for our Christmas party... but I just couldn't do it.  I wanted the tree down and I wanted to look at "new" stuff so I got everything into plastic bins and took it to the basement. I haven't got it put in the storage area, but at least its not sitting in the living room.  I got out all my snowman decor and all their beady little eyes are now watching me... and I'm ok with that. I did move a few things around this year and I added several cross stitch  pieces that I "#priscillafied"...and I have plans to add more winter-y cross stitch pieces as the season progresses.


Here's what I have so far...

My bookcase display...


The Lizzie Kate sampler on the second shelf is from a couple of years ago but the other two pieces...while I stitched them years ago, are only seeing the light of day now.  On the top shelf I have a With Thy Needle and Thread piece called "Boughs of Holly" .... the date I stitched on this one is 2011. I had it framed at Joanns and it is a nice frame but I think "pricillafying" it has taken it up a notch.




And then I re-discovered another With Thy Needle and Thread piece I stitched back in 2012... and never had framed... this one is called "Snow Day"...



I went to Hobby Lobby figuring I could pick up a frame and paint it, but then I found this one in this lovely olive green with a bit of a distressed edge,  all ready to go... since picture frames are always half price at HL this one only cost $10. I used some burlap ribbon and some leftover Christmas picks to "pricillafy"it. Also, I added backstitching around the snowman in a light taupe. There just wasn't enougth contrast between the snow guy and the light green linen  and he almost disappeared...not good.


Another older piece I jazzed up was this "Snowman Row" by Bent Creek...it is hanging out in my back hall way with some of the birds I've bought from Target.



Again I used bits and bobs of stuff from Christmas....

I got out my vintage Debbie Mumm snowflake quilt... I'm not sure when I made this but was probably 10 years ago. I have an idea for a new winter quilt... a  giant snowman...but it is still just an idea.  My piecing skills on this were good, my quilting ...not so much... but it still has a nice look.



I filled my 3 tier tray with an assortment of snowmen and  wanted to add a bit of cross stitch, but I didn't like any of the winter pieces from Lizzie Kate...they all included a bit of Christmas and I wanted to put Christmas to bed.



 So I came upon this piece I stitched last winter... Star- Shaped Snowman by Teresa Kogut... and it added a nice stitch-y touch to the tray.


I have plans to add some other cross stitched snowmen pieces to the tray...just gotta stitch them!!

 I am almost finished with Little House Needleworks  "Winter ABC's"...





Yes it is a wrinkly mess but as soon as I finish this post I'm going to try to finish stitching it... I painted some 32 ct. linen with Rit Dye ...in real life it is a lovely turquoise blue which isn't showing well in the pic I just snapped, as the sun is setting and the winter light is pale.  I did change the flosses a bit. I'm using DMCs for the most part. I've substituted GA Ruby Slippers for the CC Licorice Red and I've stitched some of the red bits with DMC 3808... a deep turquoise that goes nicely with the linen and the turquoise accents in my living room. I'll be "framing" this one myself  in the  @priscillablain  style. 


Not having my son and daughter-in-law for dinner tonight...doing it tomorrow night and celebrating my son's 33 birthday... how did he get that old??? I'm sure I haven't aged 33 years...well yes I guess I have... I'll collect my social security this year... where does the time go???

I'll link up with Kathy's Quilts today... hope you all have a good week ahead. Mine is stacked and packed with stuff to do...appointments, dinners, a movie, taking my son hither thither and yon... we got snow this weekend, about 2", and they are calling for more tomorrow morning, but are predicting 40 by the end of the week... I'm looking forward to the end of the week.


happy stitching-
carol fun 


Sunday, December 31, 2017

Where I look back and think ...

hey I was pretty productive!!!   So here's a quick recap of what I did in 2017 on the crafty front... lots of projects completed and a bunch started too... biggest  fail...not as much blogging... only 71 posts including this one versus 87 posts in 2016... Instagram takes less time to post to so that has curtailed my blogging.

Anyway here's what I counted when I went back through my posts for 2017....

I knitted 9 pairs of socks and 2 single socks ... and a sock I said I was going to finish last December is still waiting for  its mate.... hang head in shame... I also knitted 3 shawls and I got all of them blocked... yeah!!

On the quilting front I completed 13 quilts of various sizes from wall quilt to bed sized...now 3 of them are waiting in my sewing room for bindings but I'm gonna call them complete as I have the binding made, it just hasn't been applied. 

My favorite quilt I completed last year has to be my Scrappy Happy Tulips using  Lori Holt's tulip pattern and  American Jane fabrics...



And  a close second would be my Grungy Gourds...



And third I'd pick my Wonky Christmas Trees...


which I just realized I never showed it finished on the blog... so there is a bit of new content here. I quilted this one myself ... something I do every couple of years to remind myself that I really don't like to machine quilt my stuff... I can do it... I just don't want to.

I made 3 wreath projects....

Spring-y Summer-y




Halloween



Christmas



All of these made me happy!!!

And  the area I was most productive in  this year was cross stitch. I've always loved cross stitch but this year saw an explosion of seasonal projects and smalls so that definitely pumped up my finishes.  By my count I completed 27 separate cross stitch  projects of various sizes. I blame all this production  on discovering Priscilla's blog and her innovative and thrifty finishing ideas ...  I  have never had that many seasonal pieces till this year and I really love including them in my 3 tier tray and decorating around the house. There will be more of this in my future.

As for favorites I would have to chose the Halloween pieces...

Lizzie Kate Tingles...



Prairie Schooler Trick or Treat...


And what I hope is the start of a whole sorority of little prim ladies...





So 2017 was a good year for crafty-ness and I hope 2018 is a good one for both you and me...Happy New Year!!


carol fun

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Yarn-y Indecision....



Hello ... hope you all had a lovely Christmas holiday... I have no clue what day of the week it is and even when I look at my phone to confirm the day and date I immediately forget it.... some how  my pea brain has decided that Christmas Day and New Year's Day are Sundays... but they aren't... they are Mondays this year... and thus I can't keep the days straight.

Well it is cold here in SW Ohio... not as cold as other spots in the US and you have my deepest sympathy if you are located in those spots. Its been running about 20  to 25 degrees below average... high temps in the teens and twenties, the low temps for the next week in single digits... brrrrr..... and I looked... I shouldn't have but I did... there are 79 days till Spring arrives... big sigh...

So I'm curled up inside watching Big Dude nap...he is such a good napper... and playing with my knitting. I have an embarrassment of riches in the area of yarn... right now I'm knitting another version of the Stormy Sky shawl... free pattern you can see here... in another colorway of Misti Alpaca...


This colorway is called Treasure...and it puts  me in the mind of an old scrap quilt... I love the bits of orange and peach and green and yellow and aqua and turquoise and you get  the point. I loved the version I did before but those colors say Fall to me while this one says Winter...this is an easy knit... but so many other things are calling my name... there are two other shawls I've started  which are languishing in ziploc bags next to my chair, that I'd like to do and several ball of yarn in the basket, on the table sending out siren sounds. I have determined that for next year... heck next several years... no probably the rest of my life time... I should first shop my stash before I buy any new yarn... I SHOULD do it... but I probably WON'T... oh well.

And the Opal Advent Calendar was gorgeous this year... as you may remember I purchased not one but two of these wonderful calendars and I am very happy I did... here are all the scrumptious little mini- skeins that are now mine mine MINE!!!



Now you can see that I have 24 pairs... while some skein don't look the same on the outside they have the same ball band and when I peek inside I can see the same colors so I'm assuming they are mates. This is great, exactly what I wanted ... 2 skeins of each colorway. However I discovered that my calendars were NOT identical in their make up... the first calendar gave me duplicates of 3 colors and the second calendar gave me duplicates of 4 colors but in the end I got 24 pairs... not sure why it worked out but glad it did.

I had decided wouldn't start knitting socks from these calendars until after Christmas so I could  see all the colors. However others jumped right in and already have knit up socks using all the yarns... like the  gal... Truddedu.... click here to see her IG...



Aren't these FABULOUS???  She's made 6 pairs of socks since December 1... here's a pic of a single pair...


and another...

and another...


and another...

She even made the brown skein look good... I think I'll copy that idea and use it on the toe so it is hidden.

Anyway she has totally inspired me , but I'm  filled with indecision as what to knit next... so many cool combinations... and then I found this on IG from Becca @fancy_a_yarn...


and this...



She is using  2 skeins at a time and alternating them every other round. I did this before and they were calling it ragrug socks then... and  it does turn out cool... decisions, decisions, decisions.... which sock and what yarn to knit firsr????  What I like about both of these combinations is that they only used the mini-skeins in the calendar, no extra yarns... very efficient.  Now both of these gals made their socks pretty matchy... that probably isn't going to happen with me...I like the craziness... in my socks...not in life...LOL

So I'm sitting here trying to decide what to knit next...and I'm continuing to knit away on my Stormy Sky shawl cause I want to wear it... it is certainly cold enough for an alpaca shawl...heck it is cold enough for an alpaca!!! And there is cross stitch calling my name too... and since I've been staring at  Big Dude a nap sounds nice too... again with the decisions... oh well, I do have lots of good activities to chose from.

Tomorrow is Sunday...OMG... I got the day of the week correct... we're doing lunch with my son and DIL instead of dinner as they are going out to a friend's house for New Year's Eve.... I'll be spending it at home with my younger son...and we will be happy happy happy to be home.  Hope you get to spend your evening just the way you want!

happy knitting -
carol fun

PS -  if you have time  check out this hashtag on IG... #opaladventcalendar....  just click here.... all kinds of pretty things people have made with the skeins from their advent calendars....



Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Merry Christmas!!!


Merry Merry Christmas from the Polka Dot Chicken!!!





Saturday, December 23, 2017

Cards, cookies, wreath...done, done, done....

So this week sped by at warp speed just like I thought it would...but I pretty much got everything on my list done... I made Christmas cards and got them mailed.... I made cookies... about 9 dozen and I'm not sure who's gonna eat them all... I didn't get the fudge made...but maybe tonight... Robin asked what recipe I use... oh it is a deep dark secret... LOL...no it isn't ...it is the recipe on the side of the Marshmallow Fluff jar... it  is what my mom used and I always loved it. Here's a link.  It was the only thing she ever bought Marshmallow Fluff for... easy, tasty and pretty fool-proof... I just have to keep the nuts on one side of the pan... I like nuts, my son doesn't.


Here are some quick pics of the cards I made... no glamour shots...just snaps before I stuffed them into envelopes...









I started with some vintage looking paper from Carta Bella called A Very Merry Christmas. If you enlarge the pics you can see I embossed the cardstock with a folder that has a retro star pattern.  I tied a lot of them with some of that red and white striped cording I got from Target and used to edge one of my prim lady cross stitch pieces from last week. I find that there is a lot of cross over of materials in my hobbies...and I'm happy I have my stashes of paper, ribbon, fabric, yarn, linen, thread... it all makes me HAPPY!!!


And speaking of HAPPY this last project makes me very very HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY... you know I LOVE wreaths and for several years now I wanted one of those ornament wreaths. Well, I priced them and they are price-y and now I know why... boosted by a video I saw on Retro Renovation...which you can see here... I thought what the heck...give it a try ...and I did.

So I started out waiting for ornaments to go on sales as I wasn't going to pay full price... when Hobby Lobby had them 50% off  I was there to stuff  a cart ...and stuff I did... the video says you'll need around 100 ornaments and they aren't kidding... I bought  2 large mixed collection sets and then a tub of red ornaments and a tub of green ornaments and then box after box after box after box after box... using my less than stellar math skills I believe I walked out of HL with about 105 ornaments and in the spirit of full disclosure I spent $100.  I used a 16" Styrofoam ring... the video used an extruded one that is totally round... my wreath was flat on the top, bottom and sides... like this one you can see here... and then I wrapped the wreath with 2 packages of a multi-color tinsel garland I got at Target...which you can see here.  The video said don't use wimpy garland and this stuff was really hefty. It helps because when you glue the ornaments to the wreath it gives them more to grab onto.
And you need glue sticks...lots and lots and lots of glue sticks...perhaps I over did the glue but I don't want anything to fall off.. .I used about 20 of the looooonnggg glue sticks... and here is the final product.




OMG... I LOVE this wreath... is it bright and colorful and busy and sparkly ... just what I wanted. I picked the colors from that train ornament in the lower left quadrant...


Red, green a bit of gold and some turquoise blue...now the video warned not to use too many colors... but I ignored that caveat and went for it. I even used a couple of pink and orange-y gold ornaments as they were in a box or two of mixed ornaments.

Close up pics of the rest of the wreath...







I used plain red and green ornaments on the first round that is along the outside edge. I figured they would get covered up quite a bit(and they did...they are practically invisible) so no need to use fancy ones there. However I didn't pay enough attention and the ones I bought were different sizes ...the green were smaller than the red...oh well ...used them anyway. All of these are glass ornaments...not plastic... although there were some pretty plastic ones and I have a big box of the plastic ones somewhere in the basement that I thought I'd use to make an outdoor version of this wreath...someday...not today...not this Christmas...

The video was helpful in getting me the confidence to start this wreath... with so much invested   I didn't want to mess it up and I did have some doubts that I perhaps had included too many colors... but my doubts are gone now as I LOVE LOVE LOVE how it looks !!!  It is hanging on the back of the front door where I can gaze upon all its shiny sparkleyness... when I got to the end of building the wreath I did wish I had bought more smaller ornaments. I was quite gob-smacked with the larger more decorated ones but it is easier to fill in blank spots with smaller ones... and the video did mention this fact.  And how do you know the wreath is finished???  Well in my case you run out of glue sticks... so it is done...LOL

I think I'll go to the UPS store after Christmas and get a big box with packing peanuts to store this beauty.. I don't think it will fit in one of those plastic wreath boxes... too fat... and I'd like some cushioning around it.

So I'm in pretty good shape for Christmas... gotta stuff presents into fabric bags and put tags on them... and tomorrow evening I'm doing a cold cut spread for dinner for my son and DIL... picking up a tray at Costco along with a fruit bowl and some shrimp...easy stuff... Christmas morning we do appetizers/brunch at my son's home... I'm making those ham and cheese slider sandwiches with the Kings Hawaiian rolls and a puff pastry appetizer with goat cheese and basil... sounds fancy but really simple... I love puff pastry... bought 2 boxes...may make a pear tart too. Got 6 lovely pears in one of the fancy gift towers from Harry & David... a present from my investment guy... I've always wanted one of those but would never buy it for myself so I'm quite thrilled with that gift. Life is good!!

Hope you are ready for the big day... and I hope that you have a lovely time with friends and family...

Merry Christmas!!!

carol fun

Sunday, December 17, 2017

I need another week... at least...on Slow Sunday Stitching...

Where does the time go???? I would really like an additional week of time squeezed in before Christmas which is only 7 days 13 hours and 9 minutes away according to my countdown clock at this moment.  I was productive last week but there is still so much  I want to do. I finally got up a Christmas tree. I opted for a smaller tree this year... 4 1/2 feet and I placed it on a small table I found at IKEA for $15... the table is powder coated yellow and will look great on my front porch next Spring. Anyway with the tree on the table it still  looks like a big tree from outside and the on the inside it was less to decorate and it takes up less floor space... a big consideration when you have a small house.



Now I still have 2 other Christmas projects I want to get  too and the sand is tumbling through the hourglass at an ever quickening rate...yikes!!!

So here's what I can show for my week... cross stitch...lots of cross stitch. I noticed I've been on a cross stitch binge since before Halloween and it doesn't show any signs of slowing down.  Charts have been showing up in my mail slot at an alarming rate... Christmas and Snowmen and little prim ladies... I'll explain that last obsession in a bit.... that's a teaser...LOL

First, my Lizzie Kate Tiny Tidings XX1...


So in looking at this picture I see I somehow got the bottom crooked and I think I need to edit the frou frou at the top a bit... a project for later today... anyway I'm happy with how it turned out.





I like the fabric I painted as a base for this piece... gives it a bit more movement and the little guys are adorable.... I placed it here on the lower shelf of  my TV cabinet...


I need to find my bag of fake snow and sprinkle a little on that top shelf too... wonder where I left it? Someplace safe I'm sure...

And then I got off on another  tangent... prim little ladies... OMG... I am besotted with them and must stitch more....I blame it on my love of paper dolls as a child... I could never have enough of them...now I think I shall stitch myself a whole sorority of little prim ladies with puffed sleeve dresses... and this is how it started...



Isn't she pretty???  Quite angelic... She's half of the chart Peppermint & Holly by With Thy Needle and Thread...




As you can see I only stitched the right portion of the chart... peppermint angel but no holly ... I did change several things ... first she's stitched on 36 count linen that I painted and then overdyed... I changed her dress color to GA Grecian Gold and her hair is a bit more auburn than the chart called for...the white was in my stash...DMC...no band... I used 2 ply for her and 1 ply  for the snowflakes...now this was a piece of linen that I had planned to use for something else, but as I was painting it, it got yuckky so I shoved it in a jar of leftover dye and this is what I got... oh I LOVE this but don't know if I can recreate it... insert frowny face...


I know it is hard to see in this pic but there are traces of the yellow I started with peeking through and it is very mottled which I think is perfect for prim pieces... and I took my cue for the trim from Brenda Gervais' model... that red and white cording came from Target... $4 for about 30 feet...


I just hand stitched it on ... wish I had cut the piece a smidge longer... would have helped when I tied the bow... live and learn.

And since I had a bit more of that lovely turquoise linen and I wanted another prim lady I stitched this...


This is A Sprig of Holly by Pineberry Lane... I used the called for DMC colors except for the little scallop bands top and bottom ...I think it called for 830 and I only had 831 ...or maybe vice versa... anyway.... I LOVE the little scissors in her hand... I added some pipe cleaner evergreen stuff and some berries and gingham to the top...  I purchased this pattern from Patternmart.com  ...  you buy the pattern and then you can immediately download it and print it out...INSTANT GRATIFICATION!!!  and the price was less than buying a paper copy elsewhere. They have a nice selection of prim patterns and I will be buying more.

I added my prim ladies to this shelf of the bookcase...those reindeer needed some colorful company...



And so I remember next year how I decorated this bookcase a gratuitous shot for me...



That middle shelf could use a cross stitched piece... gotta work on that... right now I'm torn between starting some more Christmas pieces... I have 2 larger pieces I want to do and there isn't enough time to finish before this Christmas but realistically I did plan them for next year... I finally got some more 36 ct linen to re-paint for the Lizzie Kate  ABC Christmas and this time I don't "see" anything in the splotches... and I want to stitch this piece from With Thy Needle and Thread...In Santa Claus Land...



Now I painted a piece of fabric in light blue and green... I love the little houses that run up the side of this piece and I think there needs to be  some contrast so you see that deer in the front.... did you see the deer??? I didn't at first... anyway, my plan is to have some larger Christmas pieces next year and change out the samplers that hang year round in my living room. I know that some stitchers have adopted a Santa Sunday stitching plan and I'm thinking that would be a good idea for 2018.

And there are several Winter pieces calling my name... I got the Little House Needleworks Winter ABC's chart in the mail last week... I painted a piece of linen for it yesterday and got my flosses together... I'm going to add a bit of turquoise to the piece... that is usually a quick stitch and I'd like it when January rolls around.

So I have no lack of things I want to do... I just need more time... need to clean up my craft room...it it looks like Hobby Lobby exploded in there...oh the humanity... ornaments and ribbons and fabric and paper strewn hither, thither and yon....and I want to bake some cookies and make some fudge... I bought a ginormous bag of chocolate chips at Costco ... need to do more with the bag than sneak a handful of chips several times a day.

I know next week will fly by for all of us...hope you have a happy and productive week ahead!! I'll be linking up with Kathy's Quilts today... now I'll be off and hopefully get busy on another project.

happy stitching-
carol fun