Monday, November 30, 2015

November Ends

Where is the time going?  My world seems to speed up continuously and that seems impossible but each day is a blur.   The sunsets around here continue to be spectacular!  It's amazing to witness it like this at this time of year.
Some of The GRANDS:  PGS#3, PGS#2, PGD#1
2015 Thansgiving at Meme and Popi's
The Thanksgiving Holiday was wonderful.  Family that could make it did and most of all the grandchildren were around the table.  That makes my heart sing!
While preparing the feast, I received a call from lil' Miss PGD#1.  She wanted to come down could I pick her up?  Sure, I responded so I picked her up and she helped out quite a bit.  Her brother was also invited to come since I had  seen an appetizer dish I thought they'd like to create for our feast but due to some of his behavior errs was told by his Mom that now he'd have to wait until Mom and Dad came down. His loud thoughts were "that's fine by me"  I'll be glad when he gets through this stage and he'll be 7 soon.  

So this is what she did with just a little help from her brother.  Cute isn't it!

She also made the gravy for the feast and the lil' guy helped to set the table.  We had a very enjoyable day and spent some nice quality time together.  Eating, visiting, football toss, football watching, clean up and then some board games.  All in all so much to be grateful for.

Photo of the Grands taken at PGS#1 Birthday celebration at the end of October
PGS#3, PGS#1, PGD#1
He enjoyed meeting his youngest cousin for the first time and re-visiting with his older cousin.
The day after Thanksgiving, we spent it with the eldest grandson, PGS#1 and brought all of the dinner's leftovers to share a Thanksgiving Holiday with him.   Since he just arrived at this place, he's still in the observation mode so can't he can't leave the premises at his present step.  All the counselors are impressed with him and are repeatedly telling us that the individual on all the medical reports is not the same person they are seeing.  We can only hope he continues to do his best.  

Dear daughter celebrated her !! Birthday just before Thanksgiving, so we got together for that too.  The grands blew up about 150 balloons for the celebration.  The elder one, PGD#1 has learned how to make balloon animals so they used their Dad's compressor to blow them up when Mom was gone for the day.  That's one way to keep the young ones busy so Dad can continue to work on their new deck -  Brilliant!
PGS#3- age 6 still
During the party the youngest one, PGS#3 age 6 decided to static cling some balloons to the walls.  With just two of them sticking on his head, decided it was a strong enough hold to actually glue him to the wall too so he fly paper pressed himself against the wall saying, I'm stuck!  Oh where and how does he come up with the things he does, makes us all happy and scratching our heads wondering.  LOL      
Please disregard the blurriness of the photo, that's my fault with trying to capture these real life moments quickly.
My list of what I wanted completed is falling way short too of everything on it with the exception of my counted cross stitch- Lizzie Kate's, The Red Thread.  Check out all the months- they are now complete:

I've surpassed my goal for this and it's just the end of November.  Yippee!!!  

All that remains now is the ribbon surround on the sides and top with the phrase to stitch along the bottom. That is slated for 2016 but who knows how far I can continue with it this this year.

 Some other bit's I'm grateful for are the Washington Hawthorne tree in the side yard.  It's always so gorgeous at this time of year with all the berries left on the branches for many weeks.  Then it seems like a flock of birds fly in overnight and devour them all in a day.  Since it's wintertime, I'm never sure when that happens, but I am hoping to find out when this year.

BTW- This shot does not do it justice.

Another thank that I enjoy is the natural thermometers outside the bedroom window.  Each morning when I lift the shades, I can note the cold.  Depending on the curl of the leaves and droop of the rhododendron's leaf clumps, you can instantly see how cold it is.  Notice the tightness and droop?  It's in the twenties this am.  Not that it gives it in numbers, only cold, Really Cold and SEVERLY COLD.  LOL  You can barely notice but the rotted timbers are slowly be replaced with landscape blocks.  So much more to do on that yet.
Another thank I have is the side deck is completed!  Yippee!!  That only took 14 months!  My BIL came over to help DH finish it and brought his tools with him.  It's beautiful and gorgeous.  The only problem is with that Trek decking being weathered for a whole year it's dirty and needs some scrubbing but right now it is way too cold to attempt that.  It will have to wait until the Spring.
DH and Siamak (my dear BIL)  taken the Saturday before Thanksgiving
and it was bitter cold!
Afterwards - (DH installed the post solar lights this week.
They just softly cascade down each post,
I'll try to capture a photo of them when they are lit.)

THANKS Honey and SIA!!!!
Wishing you all the best at this time of year,

Saw an idea of another embroidery piece that would be sweet to stitch at some point.......

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Slow stitching today, ahhh....

Golden tamarack trees just brighten up the views everywhere.  Gorgeous contrast with the spruces deep greens.

This Asparagus on the roadside is so colorful that on Friday I did a U turn to capture it's brillance.
 I never knew the seeds were this color  -  RED.
The sky was a perfect blue and we had a great visit and beautiful 3 hour ride.
The tamaracks are spectacular on our ride to visit the eldest grandson in Tupper Lake this past Friday.  He is doing wonderfully with this transition and we are so proud.   Duh....., bad Grandma never took a photo of him while we visited!   The staff are impressed with how well behaved he is and he likes this new place immensely.  He's only there for 60 days during the intake process and then perhaps he'll be assigned to a home.  Fingers crossed.  It's nice that he is closer and it'll be easier to visit him.

Life has been fast paced this past week so not too much more has been completed on the WIP-be-gone or my Q-4 list.  That being the case, I seriously need to just be and breath today; so am planning on stitching February's design for the Red Thread.   Here's how it looks this morning.

I find hand stitching very soothing and zen-like.  When I stitch  I totally zone out and stop this monkey mind of mine besides progress some more on a project.  Ahhh....
Will be linking this up with Kathy's Slow Stitching Sundays and the stitchery link Party over at Super Mom No Cape.

Another day this past week the youngest grandchildren came after school.  We needed to dispose of the mammoth Sunflower that is in the lower raised garden bed and I urged Popi to leave it so the youngest one who loves Giant AND Jack and the Beanstock could use an ax and chop it down.

Of course the older sister wanted in on the action too.  Clearly you can see they got right into it!

Enjoy your "Funday", whatever your plans.  And remember to send praise for the many blessings you have. My brother is hosting his dirt bike invitational today so am happy it's warmer this weekend than last despite the drizzle.  ; )

Saturday, October 17, 2015

WIPs be gone

Am plodding along.  My WIP and the Q4 list  #17- The Red Thread made progress this past week.

April's is done so now am stitching March.   : )

The Braid Quilt (WIP and #3 on the Q 4 list) I've been able to get all the blocks made.  37 blocks done which is enough since am thinking of using a 6 x 6 block grid layout with frames, pieced sashes and several different borders so this project will go on the back burner for now.  Am still auditioning what fabrics will be used.  The solid blue and that yellow print 'were' for sure with perhaps a nice white thrown in for crispness too. While looking at these photos for this post, feel that the yellow print washes out a bit too much.  Will let this percolate and I'll ruminate.

Purple fountain grass and other plantings are all transplanted and am hardening them off.  Talk about a lot of work bringing them in then out, then out to the in, (anyone remember the movie HOME?   giggles) etc... so much, but am ever hopeful this will pay off.


This year am hoping to winter the grasses, geraniums, mandeville, vines and annuals.  We live in zone 4, so many can't survive without bringing them in.  I've wintered the geraniums before without problems.  Also a couple of the palms and the desert rose cactus too so wish me luck for this year with doing so many more.

Personally I am tired of spending hundreds each spring to fill the planters - so am hopeful by wintering these, they'll be off to a great start come spring and I'll have more moola in my purse.  We have a unit of shelves set up in the basement for starting seeds in the spring which I need to purge, clean and set up for this winter plan. That chore is on this week's agenda besides storing the summer clothes and footwear.  I'll have to take a whole day to see what brings me "spark-joy" and purge that along too.

Hunting season is here and I love that the men in our family can provide natural game if need be.   DH is actually suiting up too and going our back to see what signs are showing up.  Won't be long now before we have some fresh venison and some game birds.

Son and PGS#2 taken the weekend before Josh's 19th Birthday.
Happy Fall,

Am linking this post up to WIPs be gone at a Quilters Reader's Garden.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Finish Along for the last Quarter of 2015

Adrianne from the Windy side hosts a quarterly challenge to finish up our WIPs.
I'm joining this last quarter of 2015 in an attempt to get ahead of what could be done already.

Hopefully come 2016 I will have a fresher perspective with most of these off my back.  Fingers crossed!
Here' my Q-4 list of 2015:

  1. The BQ Quilt Borders finished (current WIP and I have an idea....)
  2. Patch-a-bilities St. Patrick's Day Wall Hanging WIP
  3. Braid- aka How Does Your Garden Grow = Made into a quilt top - WIP
  4. Wool Pumpkin Candle Mat, designed and sewn (PIG out and ready....)
  5. September Red Work - Small Quilt Wall Hanging (PIG out and ready....)
  6. October Red Work - Small Quilt Wall Hanging (PIG out and ready....)
  7. November Red Work - Small Quilt Wall Hanging (PIG out and ready....)
  8. February Red Work Small QUilt Hanging started (PIG)
  9. Fall Table runners for sofa table (PIG & A WHIMM)
  10. 2 Fall Table Runners for end tables (PIG & A WHIMM)
  11. Fall accuquilt candle mat (WHIMM)
  12. Halloween Wall Hanging *WILD CARD* (Have 2 PIGS in, a patchability and another Frankenstein Wall Hanging)
  13. BAG - *WILD CARD ***PIGs and WIPs ( I have many started and set aside.....)
  14. Purse  - *WILD CARD ***PIG and WIPs ( I have many started and set aside.....)
  15. Pillow   - *WILD CARD ***PIG and WIPs  ( I have many started and set aside.....)
  16. Community Quilt for WFQG finished and turned in WIP
  17. The Red Thread Counted Cross Stitch all months finished January through December leaving only the word surround for 2016. WIP  
  18. Halloween Game-board Table mat (PIG) 

Here are photos of the first three only,
BQ #1
Braid Quilt aka How does your garden grow #3
St. Patricks Patchabilities #2

The other projects I will share as I work on them.

And we're off....... With that list I think I'm off my rocker, BUT, I can produce when I need to and if it's not listed then I'm off in many tangents....... oh look, squirrel.... oh no make that a pretty bird.  LOL


My first focus will be on Projects 3, 6, 12, 16 and 18.

Friday, October 9, 2015

WIPs and other bits

This past week I was able to finish the stitching Bent Creek's "The Red Threads" months:
September, October!   Whoot, whoot!!

 Am feeling so smug since the September month design wasn't finished until 10/4/15 so that means that  I really flew through October's design since it's only the 9th now, not bad for a 40 x 40 stitch count.

Up next is April's.

With  getting those done I skipped back towards the front and started on April's design.  It's coming along nicely and am hoping to start stitching the wording that surrounds the whole piece maybe I can start that this month too.  Initially had though the surround would be my January and February tasks, but am really hopeful that it will be finished by the end of January with my current plan of attack of one or two month each month with some border surround as well.             lol and fingers crossed!

Here's how it looks setting on the box which houses it when not being worked on.  It's one of those decorative boxes with life affirming phrases plastered all over the surface and sets nicely on the mantel but is within reach when wanted.  Am learning that working on something doesn't mean it has to be out all the time so I do put it away even though I'll be working on it again the next day.  Makes for a nicer home when family and friends stop by.
It contains all my threads, pattern with the copied blown up sheets for each month, my glasses AND my magic eyes and all the other tools necessary like extra needles, scissors, etc....  I devised a sheet of paper to hold my needles with the extra thread on it which is pictured just to the right above.  I try to list all the colors in numerical order and have most of the bits of thread resting under the paper.
Leftover thread on the needles are parked off the project.  With stitching the needle remnants from under neath on the right side of the paper and then surfacing the needle to stitch it going in and out of the paper quickly so it's left ending up pointing to the color name and demarcation used on the pattern.  Was truly surprised that some demarcation marks were used twice in the different monthly patterns but for totally different colors.  Glad I double checked along the way.  This system works nicely and one I'll be using again.


  • I also have used the railway stitch quite a bit to get the threads to lay correctly since this is being worked on with a hand hoop.  
  • I also use the no knot start by taking just one thread, folding it in half leaving the loop on the long side.  I thread both ends through the needle then my first stitch is essentially a lark knot start.  Going up with the needle where it needs to be and going back down through the top to catch the loop on the underside which makes my first slash. 
  • I use the 7 to 1 orientation as if on a clock as my first half stitch of my cross.    
  • When just starting the design and actually on any projects worked on I typically will mark the upper left corner with a pin to know which end is top while the designs may be confusing or to early to tell what end is what.  I even use this while quilt making, upper top left marks the spot.


Other projects on my immediate horizon are make more blocks for the braid quilt.  Count is still at 31... hopefully next week that number will change.

 Also on my wish list and Wips be gone is the St. Patrick's Day Patch-a-bility wall hanging.  Many pieces have been selected and actually cut so I need to get this monkey off my back and begin the stitching.

With the leaf season happening
 we took a little trip down memory lane.....

Visited the old farmstead......

Our daughter and her peeps joined us....

Seeing the animals now in attendance,

purchasing some of the fresh chevre,.....
Visiting the old plume in Jay, ....

would you believe she and I swam through those rapids at younger ages,.....

showing her where we spent our Summer evenings listening to concerts along the waterfront at the beach front in Wilmington, NY.....

then traveling on towards Lake Placid, and ending the day with a quick meal at a favorite haunt.

It was Heavenly,
enjoy the pics.

Dear daughter age way up there and PGD#1, age 10  playing on the playground equipment.

Beckoning me 

It won..... awe,
I  love where we live!
My Mom and I are plodders.  It may take us awhile, but by and by it gets done.  We'll have several projects going all at the same time and will challenge ourselves to get another block done or some more threads stitched and then push the next devoted deadline onto our to do lists.  We actually do this with many household and homeowner chores too.  Can't work the way I used to that would get chores done quickly, but can attempt a bit or two every day or so and then progress happens until completion.
Guess it has to do with our determined genes handed down the matriarchal family line.
Thanks Gigi!

TTFN,  Jane

I'm linking to Amanda Jeans' Finish it up Fridays, Sarah's Can I get a Whoop whoop and A Quilting Reader's Garden WIPS Be Gone.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Hello I'm still alive...

Life was kept me so very busy for the past several months that shamed-ly I've neglected my blog...again. Sorry to have dropped out like I did, I always wonder of the other bloggers I follow when I don't hear from them for awhile that I hope all is okay in their world and here I did it myself to y'all,  I'm sorry if I caused you concern and thank you for any of your silent prayers and kind wishes.  I have been going through continued health concerns... not life threatening, but equally as exhausting.  Would you believe I am sleeping about 11 hours a day!  This is not my normal at all and am feeling better but will certainly be glad when a firm solution is found.  Last's night Lunar eclipse of the "Blood / Super Moon" was fantastic and thankfully I watched it while in the warmth of the hot tub.  I can just imagine how past cultures placed primordial beliefs, witch craft practices and such attached to these natural occurrences.

You'll be happy to know that I am still gardening, crafting and quilting and am ever hopeful that I can start sharing some of my endeavors and also work backwards to post on most of the activities that occurred this  past summer.      It's been eventful, surreal, fun and many travels taken.

As for my most recent finishes I have a couple of items finished that I took from an assortment of threes classes I took at the Borderline Quilt camp which happened on the second weekend in September.

Friday nights class was wool work and the instructor, Phyllis Acres had kits available for the participants for $7 each.  I had all the embroidery and applique done that evening.  It was so peaceful to sit and stitch with friends that I hadn't seen in awhile.

Pure heaven.  I just finished the perimeter stitching this week.

Then on Saturday's Class of HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW,  with Marlene Hart,  I was able to make 16 blocks using a jelly roll I purchased at Calico Gals of Syracuse when Mom and I attended  the APQS show was going on the beginning of August.  (That will be shared in another post coming soon, PROMISE!)

A sample of the block is on the left.   Thankfully I wasn't that prepared for class as she instructed us to cut 2 1/2" X 18" strips from fat quarters.  Since I had the jelly roll I brought that to class when she instructed us to sub-cut our strips into 7" lengths.
Huh? 7 x 2 is 14" and 7x3 is 21", it seems it would have been best to have us cut our strips all  into a  2/1/2" by 7" bricks before class.  One woman had a bunch of 4" pieces left over she couldn't use for this pattern.  The mathematician in me just wonders sometimes, so I was extremely glad that I wasn't prepared for this class and only brought my UNCUT jelly roll to it with the other items needed!

 Since I've been back I've been able to create 15 more blocks so far, not sure yet what size this quilt will be or where it'll be going. the pattern calls for 20 blocks which isn't large enough for a quilt in my book.  So  I do know it won't be finished as it's pictured on the pattern.  With all those yummy prints which have an ethnic appeal to them am thinking of doing a top centered with framed and then sashed blocks followed by a couple of borders and then using an appliqued Russian nesting dolls theme overshadowing some of the center along with the borders with some dolls?  Time will tell.

Here's how I've been using some of those boards I made several months ago while selecting the 2 1/2" x 7" bricks for the braided sections.
They tier nicely on the sewing table for fabric auditions and then stack nicely when I need to do something else... like yesterday  a sun umbrella was repaired and then sewing to reinforce the end hems of flags for the local Fire Department.  One down so far, three more to go.  The wind here is fierce and will shred the flags to pieces in no time at all and there is nothing worse then flags flying in disrepair IMHO.
Luckily I was able to figure out a way to reinforce the edged  hem by folding it over a length or two of some knotted cord.  It keeps them from shredding and looking tacky while still they are light enough to fly and wave in the winds.

Then for Sunday's class it was for the Tooly Tool class (a pattern by Sara Gray) where I was very well prepared for class I may say.  I even created a spread sheet for organizing all those cut  and pressed pieces required for the homework class prep and luckily had a couple extras copies of the ID sheets printed out, so shared them with all who wanted them.

It was a good thing too since the teacher, Vickie Williams was called away on a family emergency the day before, her father in law was doing poorly.  One of the event organizers mentioned that I would be the teacher's assistant for the class and I gladly complied.  It turned out nicely.  Would you believe every one in the class got their Tooly completed except for me. I've since been able to finish mine.

The folded black fleece acts as a pincushion as well as a scissor mat in the front.
I also had neglected to purchase the English version of the pattern and had bought the metric version by mistake.  When I contacted Sara about it she quickly and nicely helped me out, what a fantastic designer and she has very detailed and perfect instructions!
Just for fun the view on the backside when the tooly tool is set up is this martini print, just perfect!
I also took the liberty and adapted my tooly with decorative stitches and did the elastic closure differently. The elastic was sewn into the seams during the assembly instead of stitched applique style onto the backside, which thankfully worked out great (even with the martini glass print showing with the glasses right side up, LOL.

The current projects that I am working on besides the braided blocks shown above are :
This Valentine's Day Candle mat...
 only need to edge finish 2 more scalloped sections for this to be completed then it'll be stored.

Then this BQ quilt top is assembled.  It's percolating just now on what the borders will be.   Initially I had purchased a fairy border print that I thought would be perfect for borders,  but it reads too pastel with those bolder brighter rings framing around the faerie floral prints I think.  The pattern was revamped to work with the panel size so they are all smaller than a typical BQ block, but at least the panel has been used.  lol  
Time will tell how it turns out, maybe slashes of color in a whimsy formation and free spirited colorful border treatment ?  Any ideas are appreciated.

One fourth of the quilt top shown
Another quarter shown

Sharing the border print purchased for a border, it seems too pastel to fit this quilt though.
Am thinking that perhaps some pillowcases to go with it will use this up besides coordinate with it  well enough.
Will be back soon.
I'm getting off the computer to help DH close up the pool.  This is a record for our area that it's been opened for as long as it has.
TTFN and I promise I will be back soon.


PS:  I also am working on a counted cross stitch piece called The Red Thread designed by Bent Creek. There are several months blocks done so far and the plan is to get 1 to 2 done each month.  I started it in August and did July and August that month. Currently am finishing September's and was able to complete June and May's blocks already.  ;~)
I had to center the design so decided in the spring to start this one in the middle of the year.  With every thing going on I almost forgot about it but then was able to catch up quick enough when I remembered it in August.  Will share that project on another day.

Am happily linking this up with the Stitchery Link Party #25 at Super Mom No Cape.