Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Why Is There Always More?

Post Winter Storm
During our snowy 2 days last week, I was like this.
 I appeared to stitch a lot but actually flitted from one project to another.  I found it hard to settle in for a good work on any of them.  There was something about the wind and snow that made me feel unsettled.  We were caught a little off guard too because we'd been thinking winter was getting behind us.
 Which right now on the 21st of March I'm thinking it has.  (Hope I haven't jinxed it because just when you think it's done, there's more!)

I was just like this swallowtail butterfly I photographed last fall in the front garden; it couldn't seem to settle itself on one flower and stay put.



Oh, so nice to see our flowers and to think of butterflies in the garden.  Pretty thoughts in our still white though definitely melting world.

One of those days I had a searchy/ findy kind of day. Do you ever have a bout like that?  Feel the need to do some deep diving into the bins or drawers or where ever the crafting stuff lodges.

The object of the hunt was my crochet hooks.  I know I have a number from thrift shops these late years but do you think I could find them...no way.  Just the two I've been using recently.

 But what else did my deep diving into the totes retrieve?

My file of knitting patterns I'd forgotten about.  When did I start saving knitting patterns, I wonder.

More wool



And this little project, an absolutely beautiful kit from The Hearts Content.
I have no idea when I bought this.
 What was I thinking?  A MINIATURE 40 count silk gauze to stitch on!  Make no wonder I stitched 4 or 5 stitches and abandoned it.  Oh, my eyes!



The finished size would be 2 inch by 2 inch.  But isn't it sweet.


Here are a pile of leftovers I didn't realize I'd kept from various cross stitch and crewel projects.  I guess there are people who wind all these remnants back onto spools or cards. Perhaps it will offend some of you, it's such a mess.
Sorry.


But funny how I always find more than I think I have. More of everything... it just seems to grow.  Maybe I need to throw out more stuff.

Anyway, here is where I am with my Cornwall Cottage.  It is kind of large at 294 x 294 stitches.




 But I've made it across the top and down the side a little into section 4 of this most wonderful easy to use pattern.  Turning a corner is always a good thing.

And it is always a happy feeling  and a relief when each new motif links up perfectly with the one next to it meaning my counting is okay so far. I haven't had to do any unstitching yet but it's early days still.

Monday, 20 March 2017

A Charmed Life

At home we say if someone can take it easy or have things taken care of for them, they have a charmed life.  In terms of retirement and having time to give to whatever my fingers itch to do, at this little stage of life, finally I just may be living that charmed life.

And today just happens to be the first day of spring...a most welcome thought for us here in the northern hemisphere and especially after this winter.  Cold and snowy and long it was.

A fine plus 7 C with brilliant sunshine on Sunday had us thinking spring could really be happening.
                                 Image result for first day of spring images

I love oranges especially sweet ones. The best oranges I've found are from Walmart which is a surprise.  We do have fancy places here that specialize in fresh food but yet their oranges are not as good as Walmart's.  I think these are called sweet and fancy or something like that.  I make sure Hubby has orange pieces every day with his breakfast.




  Having someone take care of us, look after our basic needs, asking always how are you; I don't think a price can be placed on that, do you?  Life is meant to be shared.

This weekend I stitched to my heart's content but no photos till tomorrow.
I had great fun following along with these ladies who are actually sisters, the Grocery Girls on Youtube while busy myself. Perhaps you'd like to check them out. They seem to work well together, have interesting projects and I like their chatter. Yarny stuff but also lots of other interesting things.



This popular post turned up on my facebook page on Saturday. I was struck by the thought of how different our world would be if we could keep it all simple like this. All the hardship that would be instantly eliminated.

                              Image result for may humanity be our race poster


Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Thursday Things I Like

I like feathers and feather quilts.


Like many people, I collect any feathers I find on my walks. This is a blue jay feather I found one autumn. It really is such a striking colour blue and I've never seen another like it before or since.




When I was a child, I spent part of every summer with my grandparents who lived in a small outport. I remember the bed I slept on there had a feather mattress.  Though it was warm and cosy, it had a problem. Depending on how you moved, certain feathers could poke you.  I don't think my grandmother had used just the tiny feathers to stuff her mattress; big feathers must have been in it too.

Stitching feathers has always been an interesting motif  used in free motion quilting. I've been noticing feathers turning up as a modern motif for quilt blocks as well and I love looking at them.

This piece is the work of Anna Maria Horner and you can read more about it at her blog Anna Maria; as a matter of fact the pattern is generously offered as a free download.  I got a little sidetracked when I was visiting her site; her blooming flowers patterns are also so beautiful.
feather.bed

 I always wondered how difficult these feather shapes are to put together.  Then I found this tutorial from the talented Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts where it appears pretty straight forward if you use a paper piecing method.

Paper Pieced Feather Tutorial

What a pretty effect and also a great way to use up bits and pieces of fabrics.

I like finding hand worked things at a thrift store.  

I love the idea that someone had spent happy time stitching what I now hold.



This is the Sunday tea towel of a set featuring Dutch embroidered figures and scenes. They are lovely large linen towels- one for each day of the week.


This little stitchery is old but was put in a newish frame, perfect for a bathroom.




I like living in a small woods.



The view from every window is of evergreen trees.










I like finding words that help me understand myself.


Since I've moved around a lot in my life, the idea of home is a little different for me.  I actually struggle a bit with feeling settled or at home anywhere these days.  It's something I work on in my head and I know it involves feeling at peace, being relaxed and importantly having trust as well.

Ekhart Tolle's words always resonate with me. I understand that this is very individual- unique to each person if what someone else says is powerful or meaningful to you.  But for me, Ekhart often addresses the very issues I grapple with and I often reread his work.

                                             


Read what interests me here: Ekhart Tolle's Guide To Transforming Your Life

Where ever You are, I hope you are truly home.

Drop by LeeAnna's Not Afraid of Color to read what some very clever people are liking this week.




Monday, 13 March 2017

Applique Loving Amateur

I think I forgot to show what Hubby brought home around Valentine's Day.  This is a kolanchoe plant native to Africa and Madagascar. Not sure how it found its' way to Canada but here it is.  It loves sunshine and needs steady warmth.  Since our house is quite cool overnight it will be a real challenge for me not to kill it. But it is a perennial and I would love to try to have those pretty pink flowers revive and rebloom.  Fingers crossed.



I have been busy working on my Tuesday Flowers project.  There are 20 blocks in this set and I have 6 now in various stages of 'doneness'.  I tend to settle in with a session of prepping block pieces and then later on do the hand sewing.  EPP is such a wonderful process for anyone who likes hand work.  I love every stage myself.  My worry at this point is that I don't have as much fabric as I should have. I'm already having a lot of repetition in my blocks.  Perhaps I should look into getting some more.  (Like that would be a chore!)

This is Block 14 and I loved working on the little leaf like pieces.



Here are Blocks 12 and 19  almost completed. They have been sewn but need centers and finishing touches like stems for Number 19.


Again I wish the camera could capture the true colours but really failed when bright sunshine was pouring in the windows.

I've neglected to show you the books I've been reading.  From Pulitzer Prize winning Anna Quindlen comes Lots of Candles Plenty of Cake which is a memoir and is exactly as I expected.  She is one of those gifted authors who includes humour in her writing at the same time as making it heart warming and thought provoking. I particularly enjoyed the bits about growing old.  I've read all her books and enjoyed them.
Miriam Toews' All My Puny Sorrows is so well written but heavy.  Or at least I found it heavy even though there were bits of real humour here and there.  Family, sisters, suicide, obligations, joy, humour, tragedy. Ahh the mystery of connections in this life and interesting writing to the very end.



Snow in our forecast. But despite that I spent an hour online at the Vessey's site ogling all the blooms and bushes.  It's indoor seed planting time for certain things like pumpkins and tomatoes.  Last fall I did make note of the flowers I would like to add to this garden so now's the time to get going with the ordering.  Happy thoughts while the world is still white.

Time is Galloping- Am I Having Fun?

Look at that Date, March 13, wow!
 I must be on a horse because this year is galloping along. There just doesn't seem to be enough hours to get everything done...I love all my projects so much. And I'm still enjoying my post here at the Wooden House as chief cook and bottle washer, and laundress, vacuumer, dog walker and snow shoveler, etc., etc.
And of course, it goes without saying, loving my Nana time too. It sounds busy written down but really retirement does mean a lot more "me" time.

Another freezing weekend with no melting whatsoever.  Our walks, while brisk, were invigorating. Yes, I was bundled up just like I showed you. And so good to get back in the house afterwards, put the kettle on and warm up with woolies and hot tea.  I'm being careful to cover my face and except for a redder than usual nose, my cheeks are fine.
         
                                   Image result for frost and cold humour
This is why so many Canadians, especially my age, become Snowbirds.  But that being said, I love our four seasons so I must be a little bit crazy.

We just did the dreaded Spring Forward with our clocks and lost an hour a day.  I keep reading it is stressful and causes a spike in accidents and heart attacks on this Monday so why we do it is being questioned more and more.  Seems more detrimental than helpful but I don't know what it would take to change it.

 Someone sent me this Etsy link after seeing my owl post.  It is a handmade owl floss organizer with  a rare earth magnet for your needle...Girlontherocks Etsy Shop for $13.85.  Seems like something I should own, right?  Especially since I do not have such a thing now. I'm also curious about that cross stitch behind it.

                      Owl embroidery floss organizer - White

And I do lose needles all the time. I am often on hands and knees searching with a flash light for the tell tale little metal gleam somewhere on the floor.  I don't know why, but sometimes needles just flip right out of my fingers.  A fairly new but not enjoyable phenomena!

I had no idea until recently that you could buy these special Ott light bulbs that work just like regular bulbs in any lamp, or at least that is my understanding.  Someone correct me if I'm wrong which I hope I'm not.  What a great idea to be able to give yourself as close to natural light with any kind of lamp. And they can be bought all over even Lowe's.


                                              Image result for ott light bulbs

In fact,  Lowe's bills them as "natural daylight indoors" and I will be on the look out for them. You know how us "mature" stitchers are obsessed with having enough light or the right light.

I know this knitting project is exceedingly simple but I am enjoying it.  Just as I tire of one colour, my 6 inches are done and it's time to move to the next colour.  But I am going easy on my hands...for some reason knitting wakes up a few twinges that the crocheting does.  I am basically knitting just the 6 inches a day which should be fine, shouldn't it.



Scarf #1 getting there.  That represents some great Netflix viewing right there.
 I just have to try it on a bed to be sure it will be big enough to cover a double size...eventually.
Hope your Monday is the best that any Monday can be.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

I Like.... Thursday Things

I like Apple Cheesecake Streusel Cake especially a NO Bake one.


I wish I were better at taking food photos because these pictures just don't do this dessert justice.  It was delicious and combined wonderful flavours...the softened apples, a whipped cream/cream cheese layer, and oats, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon streusel topping.







So yummy and Hubby loved it.  It's a keeper.
Lots of recipes on the net for this particular combination and I followed one I found at A Dash of Insanity web site but I made my own changes, whipped cream instead of Coolwhip, and adjusted amounts to make a smaller version for us. Hubby will be a little sad when he reads that last bit.

Something I Love



Jo Cox and the Loneliness Battle

You might remember the tragic story of Jo, a British MP  who was murdered by a right wing terrorist last June.  One of her goals was to begin a commission on the scourge of loneliness that affects so many people in all our countries.
 Loneliness is considered a silent epidemic these days and of course, is not a problem of only the aged but teenagers, new mothers, people with chronic illnesses or mental issues and also people we would be a bit surprised to find out also claim to feel alone and isolated.  Jo wanted not just to talk about this but to be practical and find concrete ways to help people.
  Now her fellow MPs have announced they hope to carry on her work in her memory.

I Like Getting Crafty Mail


I've lived in a number of isolated places where the mail planes would be just about the most welcome sight.  I loved getting real mail; it was all so meaningful back in those days when we actually sent photos and letters back and forth.  Nowadays mail has dwindled to a few bills or advertisements.
  So I think that is why it is still fun for me to have something coming in the mail.  I get my little craft orders from time to time and love it. Here is my latest, Valdani Pearl Cotton Collection threads.



This is Ewe-niversity paintbox colours- so pretty.  You can check out all the collections at the Valdani site.  I was lucky enough to find mine on a markdown at Massdrop, a site that allows us to pool together to get lower prices on certain items.  There is a strong quilting/stitching community to be found there.

I Like Having Something On the Skivers


Where I am from, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, in the old days, people would sometimes call knitting needles skivers. (Yes, there is actually a Book of Newfoundland English, that's how wonderfully unique our spoken language is there.)  So you might meet a woman and ask what do you have on the skivers these days?  So on my skivers these days is a project..a knitted scarf blanket which is just about a kindergarten level project in the knitting world but I don't care, I love it.

But if you want to see a pro with the skivers, Yarn Harlot is the place to go.  Stephanie is not only a whiz with yarn, she is funny.  She can make talking about knitting funny too.
Such natural talent.




Stephanie has a One Row Handspun knit scarf pattern that is super easy and pretty too; I featured it on my very first blog post back in 2013.

I like this quote.

I see a lot of sharing and caring when I visit my blogging friends. Sometimes I smile and sometimes I have a tear so I think if I am getting those feelings then they must be genuine.  You know what I mean? And our emotions like that are the 'tie that binds' all of humanity all over the world and I, for one, am so grateful for this marvelous tool the internet that can help that.

                                           

Speaking of blogging friends, I'm linking this post to LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color.



Monday, 6 March 2017

Tuesday Talking About


Do not deprive me of my age. I have earned it.

                                                                 May Sarton

I know I certainly have. How about you?

Have you ever done this?  I had a newish pale blue top on over my leggings and black and white checked skirt...in my head thinking I was looking smart enough for around the house.  I decided to eat the leftover roasted potatoes and veggies I'd left in a tupperware container.  I'd mixed a dressing with apple cider vinegar, sunflower oil and a little agave syrup to go over it. I ate the vegetables...still some lovely dressing in the bottom and decided to forgo a spoon and just tip the lot into my mouth. A bit of a glutton, I know and not very dainty...my mother wouldn't like it at all.

How I missed my mouth I don't know...I've had enough practise getting food to it goodness knows.  This oily mixture all over the front of my blue top.  It's in a bit of a soak now with fingers crossed the oil won't permanently stain.  Honestly, I can't seem to eat even an apple without getting food on me. And this has nothing to do with age...I've been like this forever.

What is new to me is something called Trigger Finger.  My middle finger on my left hand has developed Trigger Finger or Locked Finger.  I was thinking about it and figure next to striking your funny bone, this is the oddest sensation I've ever felt. It develops with overuse of a finger and I think it is because of all the cross stitching I've been doing lately. That hand holds tightly to my frame.

I'm showing you this picture of breakfast for a reason...note the egg.  This is a large egg bought at the grocery store.  Since when are large eggs so small!  This one barely fills half the cup.


Those of you with me for awhile know I have a real love of birds and especially owls. I mentioned owls before in this post called Owly Stuff and Updates.

 This little guy sits in my sewing room.

I have had two sightings of owls on this property. On one of our afternoon walks when the light was duskish, I spied an owl and tramped into the bush a bit to get a photo.  Because of the light, I was only able to capture his outline.  But I like knowing he's out there and I keep looking.

 
I always bookmark any free patterns of owls I find.  This little cross stitch pattern is available at

KincavelKrosses.

                                               

These coffee cup cosies are so popular right now.  Head over to My Knitting Basket to get the free knitting instructions which make 5 owls around the cup...so cute.

                                             

Owls are just about the cutest motif for quilts.  This one is from Printablee which offers a lot of other free stuff, too.

                      Image result for free owl quilting pattern


And last but not least, a true owl story.
  Rene Wanakamik and his wife were driving home one day when an owl struck their vehicle. Assuming he was dead and being animal lovers, he and his wife wanted to dispose of him properly so they put the owl in their back seat. After about 10 minutes, however, the owl revived and proceeded to sit quietly on the headrest all the way home where they were able to release him into the wild.

               Kimberly Wanakamik husband Rene Pays Plat First Nation

But they got a photo first...a beautiful Great Grey Owl.