Sunday, 17 November 2019

Stitching Meditation, Tools, Dogs, The Crown

Last month I spoke about stitching as meditation. To that end I joined a Facebook group, Stitch Meditations,who share their stitching and write about the comfort it is to them especially during difficult times. It is amazing the number of folks who are stitching in hospital beds or waiting rooms for instance. I myself have never seen anyone. Except my mom who always took knitting and her cross word book with her which I do as well.
Below is a little piece I've been stitching that is solely hand work and combines my love of hand stitching with a kantha style of running stitch. This works well when my eyes need a break from the counting of the cross stitched Swirling Flowers. I'm using the General's Sketch &Wash HB pencil to mark a little guide. I'm  practicing keeping my stitches evenly spaced and the same length. I've had to take out a couple.
I have this little box of 12 and with Hubby's auction winning of office supplies last year, I think we have enough pencils to see us through now. :) Btw, it was Anne at Every Stitch who recommended them. Sadly, she is no longer posting but you can still visit her blog and see the most beautiful of projects.
Image result for general hb sketch and wash pencils"
 This is also a quilt as I go piece with batting on the back which is often done with Kantha stitching.
I got the circles hand stitched on those Dresdens and counted how many are completely finished. Exactly 68. Hmm, need more than that. Scrappy projects can take a long time to finish. But my stitching motivation for this particular project is still high.
Goals this week re stitching..
Keep the three projects- Autumn patchwork, Swirling Flowers and the Dresdens moving forward.

Our upstairs TV room is taking shape. The new TV arrived and is one of those 4K, whatever the heck that means. Apparently it's a good thing; anyway, we've been blown away by the picture quality and the size of the darn thing.
We had debated whether we needed to buy a new one but now are glad we did. And in time for The Crown ...I will be able to see even more details of their lovely clothes and the palace. Olivia Colman is already getting rave reviews.  Anybody else a fan?
                                   Image result for the crown season 3
I got all the gardening stuff stowed away in the garage and extra bird seed brought in just in the nick of time before the snow came to stay. I'm running two feeders now and there has been a lot of activity with the sharp downturn in the temperatures.

Keeping them filled, checking the mouse trap (3 more added to the list) and shoveling the steps are my basic outdoor chores which are not that much.  And it already feels like I have more free time with no gardening.
Rex on the deck patiently waiting to get back in the house.  He doesn't at mind lying in snow.
Miss Murphy, our diva, letting me know at the window that she wants back in right now, as she always does.
We just got in from our morning walk with them (more of a slow saunter for Rex) and the ground is frozen enough to allow tramping around the wetland area next to the pond. This means we can do almost a complete loop of the property on our walks including the area where we watched the snow white weasel last year.  Perhaps I'll be lucky enough to get a photo this year.
Hope your Sunday is wonderful!
Linking this post with Kathy's Quilts.

Thursday, 14 November 2019

Favourites: Artists, Honey, Shows, Design Wall

What a difference a week makes! Tuesday night it got down to -24 C with the wind chill. I'm now wearing my bedsocks to bed. Anybody else have such an item of apparel in their wardrobe?
Taken from one of the bedroom windows- I can't get over how deep into winter this looks so soon, too soon!  Is this going to be another very long winter, sigh.
We received this little gizmo/ personal assistant as a free gift with the new TV.

 You just have to say Okay Google, play violin music and a polite voice replies and voila, music begins.  Hubby has been testing it's ability to keep up with the weather.  It's been fun using it though we do wonder about the stories of it listening in and recording conversations. Here at the wooden house, that would be quite a snooze. Typical for us:
Hubby: What's for lunch? Me: How about a sandwich? Hubby: Okay, wait, have we got any white bread left? Me: Yes  Hubby: And tomatoes? Me: Yes  Hubby: Sure then.   ZZZZ

Do any of you do jigsaws?  I always complete the New Yorker Cover jigsaw online. You don't have to be a subscriber to access the page.  I try Level 3 to make it a little more challenging.  They all feature various artists work for the covers which I find interesting.
 Here is the link to the jigsaw page.
This cover from October 1959 featured a soon to be very famous artist, William Steig.  Did you know he is the original creator of Shrek?
See the source image
That's one cheeky looking pumpkin!
                          I use honey a lot and lately this kind, Manuka, keeps cropping up.
                                See the source image

 I'm using a wildflower honey now and when it's finished I'm going to give this a try.  Costco is selling it I know.
This article at Healthline states there is now scientific information to back up its health benefits claims. But who knows; they've said that about so many things!

We watched this documentary on Netflix and found it enthralling and heartbreaking. How long do you think someone could live in an abandoned house with just apples from a nearby tree to eat?                             See the source image
I've been staring at the wall in the sewing room.  This must be configuration  #4 of the various blocks and the one I'm most happy with so far.  This one has the four Dresdens on the corners and brings the six embroidered blocks to the center. I have other blocks made to fill the vacancies but think I'll still have orphans at the end.
I've sewed a pile of little triangles to make an outside border of flying geese. Kind of boring but good practice on the machine.  First I thought of piano keys or something fun like that but then realized such a piece as this with so many different blocks could use a more cohesive border.  And using the more neutral gray fabrics would also help in that regard.  Here I tried a few against the embroidered blocks and liked it.
Managed to capture this little sparrow foraging. I find sparrows quick moving and not easy subjects for photos. I guess you could say that about a lot of birds. Aren't his browns pretty though.
I think it is an American Tree Sparrow.  There are so many kinds of sparrows and with the juveniles wearing different colours at different stages, it can confuse identification.
It's snowing out...a light but steady fall.  Hubby is off to coffee with, as he affectionately calls them, the old gits.  But there are still three of us here holding down the fort.
Linking this post with Not Afraid of ColorQuilt FabricationFor the Love of GeeseThe Jesh Studio,  Floral Passions and Paying Ready Attention.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Links, Free Pattern, Projects, Critters, Poppies

I just poured myself a cup of green tea (how good I'm being because I'd really rather a second cup of coffee) and read through some of your blogs. Such great many quilts being finished! I need to find more folks who are not finishing things. Just kidding; I love to see your finishes and I'm that one in the crowd who claps the loudest for you and keeps clapping after others have stopped.  Yes, I've done that embarrassing thing in real life too!
With the weather taking a turn cooler, we do not need wonder if the snow is here to is. This always makes me think of the critters in the pond.  Haven't seen anything stirring in about a month now. Did catch this little guy sinking in the mud...
And that same day the medium sized Painted turtle who also kept sinking in mud.
 I'm thinking they are all under the mud somehow now and perhaps I glimpsed them both on their last day topside, as it were.  They will have to go deep to survive the extreme cold that our winters bring us here in Ontario.

Did you know Kathy Schmitz and Bonnie Sullivan are sisters?  How wonderful that must be to have a sibling sharing an intense love of stitching. They have both been featured in Quiltmania magazines. Bonnies' book, Heart of the Home,is now on a special sale here at Quiltmania with her shopping bag included for free.
                                 See the source image
This lovely is called Poinsetta and Pine and is an upcoming BOM from Shabby Fabrics.
                               Poinsettia & Pine Patchwork Quilt displayed being a Christmas tree | Shabby Fabrics
                   Lynn at the wonderful  Sew n Wild Oaks site has this pattern of hers for sale. Still lots of tender points I notice. I just saw in her recipe section, Lynn has a recipe for Peach Amaretto Bread that is something Hubby would love.
                                    Row-Mancing Alaska image 0
The talented artist, Michelle Palmer generously offers a free Christmas pattern each year. Here is her design, Wren on the Holly, for 2019. No need to wonder why this caught my eye! I plan to download this pattern myself this week.
                           No photo description available.
I'm still back on autumn particularly with my larger project. It is gradually, slowly making itself into something. Sewing borders on the embroidery blocks has been easy and fun.  Two words I almost never associate with me and the sewing machine. I hope to have that all finished this week.
Also on my TO Do List this week...
Cross stitching is continuing on my Quakers while eyeing a Christmas pattern I have. I really want Section 2 finished by the next SAL linkup so must stay focused. That's the beauty of these monthly check ins... Anybody else use a piece of batting to secure needles?
Tomorrow is Remembrance Day in Canada. I make a point of wearing my Legion poppy scarf this month. My little way of remembering my grandfather who died in World War II and my dad who was a Korean War vet. It is large and has a wonderful silky feel to it. I also have the earrings from The Poppy Store,
Feeling thankful for my peaceful home and country, never ever taken for granted.

Linking this post with Kathy's QuiltsSmall Quilts and Doll QuiltsPretty Piney,  Bambi's Show and Tell, Quilting is More Fun Than HouseworkHome Sewn By Us and Viewing Nature With Eileen.

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Super Thursday Thoughts

Hello, I have so much to talk about and be grateful for on this Thankful Thursday.

It was a cool misty morning down at the pond recently.  As I neared this spot, I caught sight of two white tails...deer, leaping through the brush.  A very autumn look to the landscape that I decided to show you as we have a light snow falling so it does not look like this today.
My old Christmas cactus is rewarding me this year by sending out a few blooms. I've had it a few years with no blooms not even when it was given to me. Why now I don't know.
These are an orangey colour. But they are pretty up close.
I had no idea these Hallmark Christmas movies were so popular till I started reading blogs and it seems a love of these movies goes hand in hand with stitching. Definitely should be on some of your Christmas lists. They are available from a bunch of sites. I typed in Hallmark Christmas Movie watching sweatshirt and many variations on the same theme turned up.
                                        Image result for christmas movie sweatshirt
And Christmas stitching is starting to crop up.  At Sew Can She, Caroline shared this.
                                            The 15 BEST Free Christmas Stocking Sewing Patterns on the Web!

Before I start anything Christmasy I've got to move a couple of projects forward.  Namely the Dresdens.  Hand stitching slows this down that's for sure.  But I have 12 more ready to receive their little black circles.
Interesting and a bit confounding, still lots of scraps.
About the Pumpkin custard...we liked it!  I would use regular sugar next time as the Stevia came through as almost too sweet. I would shorten the cooking time too. Mine was a little bit too set but still tasty.  It's interesting how pumpkin can blend in and not taste exactly like pumpkin in these mixtures.
Warm and cozy - my knitted squares blanket is also cheery against the wooden walls. And a great way to use up yarn scraps.  My inspiration for this project was from the amazing Jane Brocket at YarnStorm where she shares her quilting, cooking and crocheting too.
Many of you are following Jenny of Elefantz as she discusses the various sections in this book of  Jane's,  The Gentle Art of Domesticity available here at Amazon.
The dogs and I along the deciduous tree trail; the sun was bright enough I had my eyes closed. Thought I'd share this one too while we had our blanket of leaves. (No these are not my "good jeans")
Hope you are staying cozy or cool where ever you are in this amazing world of ours.
Sharing this post with Not Afraid of ColorIt's a Small Town Life, The LLB Gang, Floral Friday FotoCreations, Quilts, Art...Whatever and The Needle and Thread Network.

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Cozy Up Weather, Pumpkin Custard

We are getting there! Cozy up weather heading our way. Yet cooler temperatures and a few snow flurries are in the forecast for the end of the week. But ever so grateful it has held off this long.
So with that in mind, the winter coats, jackets and boots have to come upstairs from the downstairs racks. Definitely a to do item for this week.

Hubby spent several days putting together this tall cabinet. This was his to do thing last week. You can never have too much storage space I find.
 And we expect our new t.v. for the upstairs t.v. room this week.  He put in lots of time researching and I can't wait to see what it will be like. Our old one is about ten years old and technology has changed so much since then.

Here is a look at the autumn blocks together for the first time last week.  I could call this one Mishmash. :) Yes, this needs a design.  And I have been busy - but with my other projects.
And my crocheted granny squares....hmm better get on this too.  Sorting them to balance the colours. True to me I've just been crocheting without thinking about the numbers of each colour.  On the right there, looking black but actually a pretty deep purple.
I've been thinking about waffles lately, yes waffles. As soon as the weather cools down, I think of comfort food. I haven't had waffles in a long time. I used to make them for the girls and freeze them and then pop them in the toaster for a quick breakfast. In light of this, I'm looking at getting another small appliance, a waffle iron.  A four slice would be nice because making them singly is a nuisance.
But then with just the two of us, maybe that isn't so much of an issue.
I looked at this Cuisinart one that makes four at a time. Does anyone have this?

Maybe during the Black Friday sales, it will be turn up somewhere.

And I have my slow cooker out to try this recipe. I'm not done with pumpkin just yet. Check out the recipe at Simply So Healthy here.  I'll be using regular flour and just a little spice. I'll let you know on Thursday how it turned out.
No end of things to do, to try, to find, etc. Take care all!
Linking up with Home Sewn By UsAlycia QuiltsFor the Love of GeeseClever Chameleon,  Quilting and Learning and My Bijou Life.