Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Turning my Head, part 2


Buying fabric just to own it is a relatively new activity for me.
  Before my Blog, I mostly bought only when I had pattern in hand and knew exactly what I needed to get the sewing job done.  Since I've had the world of fabrics presented to me, I am in awe of the beautiful designs and patterns. I sometimes jot those down in a list I keep on my computer.  This comes in handy at sale times.

Here are a few that have turned my head.  I'd have to get over my fear of cutting into them.


Tilda's Sweetheart  There is something traditional in her work yet modern and fresh.

                        Image result for sweetheart tilda fabric

And another colour way... Autumn Tree

                         Image result for tilda autumn tree fabric


Winter's Lane by Kate and Birdie Paper Co. The birds, the birds; why do I love all fabric with birds.  This would be perfect for Winter/ Christmas projects, I think.

                           Image result for winter's lane fabric

This is Sweet Charlotte from Robert Kaufman fabrics.  There is something about browns with pinks that appeals to me.  These are so pretty and would work well with Baltimore album type applique.  At least that is what popped into my mind when I looked through the selection.

                                      Sweet Charlotte by Darlene Zimmerman, complete collection
It's the time of year when all the stitch-a-longs get announced.  There are several good Pinterest boards people have made that are very helpful in cutting down some of the internet legwork yourself.
Just go to Pinterest and type in stitch-a-long or BOM and you will find them.

Here are a few more that I have noted.

The Honey Pot Bee BOM

Mollie Sparkles is hosting an absolutely free BOM featuring monthly designs by some of the biggest names in quilting.  This one promises to be a little different from the usual patchwork patterns and of course, the real beauty of this is you can download the patterns and work them at your own speed.  There is a facebook group to join and lots of tutorials for support.
First Block, "Strawberries" by the Gnome Angel.  So sweet.

                        Strawberry Quilt Block finishes at 17.5" x 24.5" and is great for a quick large quilt finish, using up your scraps and having fun with colour. This version is made featuring Karen Lewis Blueberry Park for Robert Kaufman partnered with Robert Kaufman Essex Linen.



"Foxley Village 2016" BOM was designed by Natalie Bird and though the BOM aspect is finished, you can still get the patterns and kit  from Australia Homespun magazine.  I just about swooned when I looked through some of the monthly features in that magazine by the way.  Gorgeous little projects. And I guess foxes are still turning a lot of heads.


                    HSP1702_cover

Linen and Threads Mystery Sampler Stitch a Long

Here is a free mystery cross stitch Stitch- A- Long.being hosted by the folks at Linen and Threads Web site.
They are releasing one band a month for the 2017 year.
Below is Maggie Hillock's version of Part 1, January- the first band.  The colours she chose are so pretty and her work is lovely.  I've joined the Facebook group and am enjoying seeing the same pattern rendered in pretty much all the colours of the rainbow.  So creative.

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Well, isn't it a joy to have the internet linking all the wonderful designers with all of us who enjoy stitching. My days are enriched when I can spend a little time ogling and daydreaming about the wonderful new projects.  How generous too so many are to offer their ideas for free.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017 finds me feeling thankful for all of this.


Sunday, 29 January 2017

In Which She Discovers Audio Books

I'm not sure why I am so late discovering how great audio books can be.  I know some of you have already mentioned them to me from time to time, but I didn't seem to twig.  Maybe I had a weird notion they were for the sick and shut-ins like we used to think about some things long ago.  I don't know.
  Anyway, broke that barrier this weekend and listened to most of two books while stitching.  I had actually read this one before, Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris but when it began with the reader having such a lovely English accent I felt drawn in. I not only listened while stitching; I listened while chopping vegetables and dusting the house.  How wonderful to be able to sort of read and yet do other things at the same time. (My small mind was quite amused by this.)


I don't know how you feel about murder mysteries.  I like them in their many formats including this one.  I'm now about half way through The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson and it is good fun . It rated a 4.2 out of 5 on Goodreads.


I've promised to take myself in hand and check out the more literary material that no doubt is available on youtube as well.

Here I am listening while proving that I look like I have no eyes when I don't wear eye makeup. But I have to tell you that I am as snug as the proverbial bug, surrounded by the mess that no matter how neat I set out to be I still manage to create in my little sewing room.


The weather outside, while not frightful, was certainly wintry with lots of snowflakes flying about.  Can you tell that my hair is growing out?  I have been stern with myself not to take the scissors to it and want to grow it out so some poor professional will have something to work with. My hair is slow growing so this is taking ages and there is definitely no longer any gold among my silver. LOL

I've been looking through my copy of Gwen Marston's Needlework Designs.  She is fabulous and her designs are lovely. A number of years ago I had worked a set of them in redwork, a very pleasurable time for me. After losing those, I put the book away.  Recently I remembered the designs are also intended for applique so I got the book out to have another look.  Gwen has many books published; have you seen this one?
  Not outrageously complicated, probably my speed at this point in my skill level.  I may have graduated quilting kindergarten.  LOL



January is a long month and seems more so because it is one of our three coldest of the year here in Canada. But is is nearing an end as we work our way out of winter.
Hope this is the start of a great week for you all.
                         

Friday, 27 January 2017

What's Calling My Name

I keep forgetting to mention the Quilty 365 circle project is continuing as Quilty 365 (2017) and is now being hosted by Daisy and Jack. I recommend this project as the circles are so much fun to make; a little addictive actually.  Now I can't claim they actually used up all my scraps but they put a dent in the pile which is good.

                                      

Another challenge being tossed around amongst stitchers is to complete the number of projects in a year that is that years' number. So folks are hoping to start and complete 17 projects this year.  I'm sure there are many people who will achieve just that.  Not me though.

Here are a couple of my considerations for projects this year. They are calling my name and soon I will settle on the ones I will answer.

Lucy at Attic 24 has begun her third CAL, this one called the" Moorland Blanket".  She is using the very reliable Stylecraft Special DK ( where else can you find a yarn with over 70 colour choices!).  The countryside and lovely heather and hills where she lives were her inspiration for this palette and with the Stylecraft she was able to duplicate each pretty strata.

MoorlandDSC05493

She is using a Wave crochet pattern.  These shades are definitely calling my name.  Do they speak to you too?

The gentle green shades in that photo reminded me Pantone has announced the colour of the year for 2017 is "Greenery".  It looks full of greeny goodness (as Lucy would say) to my eyes maybe because it looks springish.

                               PANTONE Color Standards
for Creating with Rose Quartz & Serenity

The "Moorland Blanket" project is definitely in the running but I want to knit something next.

  I showed you this Jane Brockett project, a blanket made by knitting scarves and sewing them together.  Jane, btw, was my inspiration for the crocheted hexagon afghan. (Said hexagons are very time consuming to sew together, I'm finding.)  Little did I know when I put this photo in my favourites' list that one day I would have the room to go with the blanket.  LOL

                                   Image result for jane brocket blanket
It is made in simple moss stitch (sometimes called seed stitch I think) so shouldn't be too hard to complete.
Jane's site is Yarnstorm but the last posts are from 2015 so I'm not sure what she is up to these days.
Perhaps someone can enlighten me.

The beautiful Stonefields Quilt!  This one called out to a lot of people it seems from the number of completed quilts that fill the designated Pinterest page.

I confess that in a moment of weakness last year I ordered this pattern set all the way from Australia. ( I don't know what is happening there, but boy do they produce some wonderfully talented designers and quilters and stitchers. ) Susan Smith is one of the many from that part of the world.  I'd seen images of this quilt here and there around the internet for a couple of years and fell in love with the little patterns.

                  Blog photo stonefields quilt Patchwork on Stonleigh:

Then we moved so it got tucked away.  Since then I've gotten it out about 16 times to look at but feel a little daunted by it. I don't think my skills are up to it just yet.  Perhaps when I get a couple more projects under my belt.  So it sits in one of my totes whispering softly to me from time to time.  No it doesn't really do that; that would be so creepy.  LOL

So many choices for projects I'll have to share a Part 2 of this post. I am grateful to the internet for bringing them to my attention. Where would I be without it.

I've brought out my sunny yellow soup pot so making homemade soup will be on the agenda this weekend.  What kind I'm not sure.  Pea soup with dumplings maybe or a bean medley soup.  Or maybe the Mennonite Girls Can Cook version of Cabbage Roll Soup.  It looks delicious and the link is HERE so you can see for yourself.


Hope something fun or maybe good tasting is calling your name this weekend.





Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Interesting Times and Another Finish

 I did well (for me) with the Christmas stitching in 2016.
But is it just me or do you have loads of threads that must be tucked in after the whole piece is finished.  It took me a number of evenings hand stitching in loose threads on those three hangings and just when I'd think I was done, there would be another one!

Here is another little wall hanging I've pinned up in a corner of the sewing room.
 I recently quilted it with the walking foot attachment.  I'd had this piece as a flimsy for about three years.  It was called " Liberty Coins" in the book I got the pattern from and I think this pattern goes by a number of names.  I had to wash it because it was packed away in boxes in the old basement for some time and I was afraid the mice might have been snuggling up to it. Anyway, the washing didn't hurt it; in fact, it softened the fabrics, the quilting held up and took on a nice older look and the hanging now has a marvelous soft feel to it.


We were at Home Depot recently and I remembered to pick up the paint swatch cards I'd been thinking of doing for ages.  I read on someone's blog they make good use of these when choosing colours for a project.  The shades of each colour are so beautifully coordinated, I can see it could remove some of the guesswork.



I love keeping a few of the Christmas cards around for a while after the season, especially pretty ones like this.  I don't throw any of them out.


I am not political at all and if possible even less so as an older woman.
But so much has been happening in the world, I feel like I have to make mention of some of it in my blog even just as a record. The January 22nd Women's March brought out a lot of people around the world. It was a quite a show of female solidarity. At the Toronto, Canada march, here is our former Governor General, Adrienne Clarkson on the left and author, Margaret Atwood on the right.

                                Image may contain: 2 people, people standing, shoes and outdoor

  I don't think we should be cursed for living in interesting times.  There is no doubt our times have just gotten much more interesting though a lot of people would use other words to describe it.


                                      Image result for may we live in interesting times

Interesting can be good.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Eating, Reading, Stitching


This about sums up Life around here lately.




I tried to find a picture like this with sewing and couldn't; add eating and you will have my steady trio of activities lately.  Eating, Reading, Stitching

I can't even say I've been outside much; the freezing rain and constant drizzle has put an end to that.  I'm scared of falling and I creep from the car to wherever I'm going.
And speaking of having cleats on your boots. (Yes, we talk about them a lot, sad and nerdly). I recently heard the story of a woman who wore these boots that have the cleats attached; she was walking indoors to her office, caught in the elevator doorway and almost had a very bad fall.  File that under you just can't win.

I've been reading lots and can't complain about the great run of books I've read since the early fall.  These were read back in December and I enjoyed all three.  Muriel Stark's Aiding and Abetting,   Sourland by the most prolific writer, Joyce Carol Oates and My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout ( of Olive Kitteridge fame).  If I've shown you these before, I apologize.


Read this one in a few hours this weekend.  The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena.  Kind of like The Girl on the Train.  If it weren't January in Canada, this would make a great beach book.



Here is the trailer for the movie so you can totally get the plot. (Spoiler alert)




My Circles are now a flimsy.  I have to finish the house block in the center and make a decision about how to quilt it.


Here is the dessert I made recently.  Fresh Fruit Ambrosia but in my case the blueberries were the only fresh fruit; I used frozen peaches, pears and pineapple for the rest of the fruit.  This is a favourite summer dessert of mine, but it sure hit the spot last weekend.


This is a combining items kind of dessert rather than a cooking one.
 Here's what got mixed together:

I whipped 3/4 cup fresh cream with a tablespoon of sugar till stiff, while still mixing I added 1/2 cup sour cream.  I added 2 cups of miniature marhsmallows, 1 cup shredded coconut, a small bottle of cherries, a handful of pecans, and the fruit.  This needed a big bowl because I used a lot of fruit, about 3 cups. I chilled it for a couple of hours in the fridge. I added the blueberries just before serving.  It was very tasty and we had enough for a couple of nights.  The photo was taken the second night and the cream mixture was starting to lose its lovely loftiness but still tasted great.

Hope your Monday is going great.






Friday, 20 January 2017

Two Finishes, Three Cooking Hits and One Miss

I am so pleased with myself and my efforts to get things done before starting new projects.  I think you can tell it's been a bit of a struggle to hold myself back. There are so many lovely projects out there swirling around and I've been biting at the bit to jump in.
Instead I've been reminding myself over and over...FINISH, FINISH.  So far, so good.

Crabapple Hill Studio's design, "Shiny and Brite" is all done, quilted and bound.  These will be packed away soon; I just wanted to enjoy it for a few days .




Here is my Blackbird Designs "Strawberry Fields Forever"cross stitch piece.  It was such a treat to stitch.  I did add a few more stitches here and there, changed up the gate a little and also added my daughters' first initials.  I only had the gate area to finish when I paused it for the Christmas stitching so it didn't take that long.  Can you spot the two leaves that need adding?  Can I blame my sad old eyes.


I've pinned it up in the sewing room to remind myself to add them!



My Circles piece is rolling along (ha ha) as well.  I was worried it would look like the proverbial dog's breakfast but it is looking better and better to me.  I'm not used to using such bright colours in abundance in a piece but I'm liking it.

This week I've been in a cooking mood.  One day I made two meals.


 A slow cooker meal of beef stew which really goes down well on a cold winter day.
 I also made something I've never made before....baked spaghetti.  I've made lots of spaghetti but just never treated it as a casserole before.  It was really good.  I used mascarpone cheese instead of  cheddar, cottage or cream cheese and it added a wonderful flavour to the sauce.  Mascarpone cheese is the one used in the famous Italian treats, tiramisu and cannolis,

 I'd love to use it more often.  What have you used mascarpone in?

This little venture in the kitchen meant lots of leftovers so meals for the week were almost but not quite all taken care of.

Yesterday I made a dish  I don't think I'll make again.  It was tomatoes filled with a couscous mixture.  Healthy I imagine but rather tasteless.  I would definitely need to work on the spices part of it if I were to make it again. The tomatoes were also lacking in flavour which didn't help the dish.

 I made cabbage cooked in milk to go with it.  I fried out the cabbage with a little onion in a pan and added the milk a little at a time as it cooked. It took a long time to soften but with a little real butter, salt and more milk, it formed quite a tasty mixture.  I broiled two thick slices of bread and spooned the cabbage over them.  Now this Hubby loved and I must admit I liked it too.  It almost made up for the couscous. Definitely will be making it again.

I mentioned dessert...and I did make one.  I have a photo in the camera and I'll show you Monday.

On a very sad note, the wonderful designer Sue Garman has passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer.  I just love her designs which are available still to buy.  I always liked her "All Around the Town" and "Afternoon Delight" patterns in particular and they sit in my favourites list right now.  I've read all her posts and she was extraordinarily brave throughout the treatments and set backs she had to endure.
 Her legacy in beautiful work and designs enjoyed around the world will live on.



        All Around the Town - Full Pattern Set 
   
        Image result for sue garman afternoon delight pattern



Hope there is something wonderful in your weekend.




Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Saris and Kimonos...Beautiful and Sensible


This is the bag my daughter gave me several years ago.  I"ve shown you it before and it is distinctive because it was made from discarded saris and the sale of these bags contributed money to a charity.  I just loved it to death and used it for my blog stuff.  I'd gotten more compliments on this bag than any I have owned.  Sadly, the stitching began unraveling and some of the delicate silk pieces frayed away to nothing.

 When you think of beautiful women's clothing, saris come to mind.  I especially love the colours and the way the cloth flows over a woman's body, I imagine they are a 'forgiving' piece of clothing.


Antique kimono exhibition room at the “Japan Kimono Culture Museum" in Koriyama, Fukishima Prefecture, Japan.

Kimonos Presented As Art

Several years ago I attended a presentation on Kimonos at one of the local museums.  An Ottawa girl had just returned from Japan where she had been studying the art of dressing 'Kimono', a four year long course of study.  She had learned all about the Japanese ancient skills of dyeing and weaving fabrics and how kimonos are at the heart of their culture.  I was fascinated as I'd had no idea how involved and important each step of the process is...as she demonstrated the eight steps to dressing Kimono, her reverence and love of what she was doing shone through.

 

 In older times the kimono would actually be taken completely apart for washing and then resewn afterwards.  Of course, they were all hand sewn often of the most expensive cloth available.
At the end of the performance, a group of volunteer models wearing kimonos joined her on stage.
These demonstrated the kind of kimono that would be typically worn at different seasons and occasions of the year.  It was a spectacular sight; all the beautiful colours and prints were a real feast for the eyes.

Photo:

The audience, mostly women, oohed and ahhed and we all agreed it was one of the most beautiful shows we had ever seen.
 Kimonos like saris, are also a forgiving garment.  With just a few adjustments, a woman can wear the same kimono all her life.  What a sensible approach to clothing women, dare I say it, especially older women...and so beautiful, too.

Cynthia at Wabi Sabi Quilts  stitched this very pretty Kimono friendship block quilt.

                             A Quilter by Night: Kimono Friendship Quilt:

Isilay Yalaz has a Pinterest board of over 80 pins devoted just to kimono cross stitch patterns including this one that is a kit from Dimensions.

Gallery.ru / Фото #7 - Elegant_Kimono - Tatiananik:


I like this one that combines a sampler idea with kimono, elegant too.
Image result for kimono cross-stitch patterns

I wonder are my eyes drawn to this because we are at the height of the colourless time of year.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Monday Mix Up


In this life the days sometimes run together.  Something that never happened in my work world. There each week day had a different feel to it that was hard to describe.  But I remember a Monday felt different from a Thursday and Friday had a joyous uplifting feeling all its own.  Now I sometimes say to Hubby is this Tuesday or Wednesday?  And he'll say darned if I know; let me check the paper.

One thing you in Blogland have taught me is the value of having a design wall.  I'd never thought of it on my own but it has proven so valuable for just about every project I've sewn these last two years. And my Quilty 365 is benefiting greatly from having the circles on the wall where I can ogle them and move them around and test out various scenarios.

The idea of a center block and the circles moving around it has gradually taken form. I like the idea of a house block in the middle so have been trying various kinds of houses to suit.  Still a work in progress.




If you are too tired to read an article, how about one that just requires looking.  You must take a look at this exquisite rescued cross stitch/ needlepoint and the clever, amazing items that have been fashioned.  The link to the Guardian article called " A Stitch Through Time" is HERE.



                          A rotary telephone by Swedish designer Ulla-Stina Wikander, who covers 1970s household objects in second-hand cross-stitches


And for the teacher friends I have and our worries about the grammarly points of the English language being lost, here is a mug I bought for Hubby as part of his Christmas gifts.  I noticed the error right away but I bought it anyway because I loved the sentiment.  He is actually my brilliant one.  I need one of those pens that write on porcelain to correct it.



Just For Fun

Have a look at all the "lovelies" these two collected.  The Duke and Duchess of Winsor. I watched a complete biography narrated by the duke's great nephew, Prince Edward, on Youtube while I was working on my circles. The Prince expressed just as much awe of the abdication for love as the rest of us.  A sad note was when he visited the little pet cemetary they kept on their property for all their beloved pugs.  Not having any children, they adored their pets.




Meanwhile in Canada

A photo to cool down my Australian and New Zealand friends!

This is a photo taken in Islington, Newfoundland and Labrador by my face book friend Paul Seymour.  Going to be a while before it's picnic time.  This is the North Atlantic Ocean and such a scene leaves no doubt as to why it is often described as frigid.

Image may contain: ocean, water and outdoor

Friday, 13 January 2017

Pet Peeves and A Bunch of Other Stuff

 I'm not a good driver which means I have to drive very carefully.
 I set everything- mirrors, sunglasses, temperature, music, etc. before putting the car in gear.  I can't handle reaching to twirl buttons and staying in my lane at the same time.  I do believe I'm a considerate driver.  I always signal well in advance when I'm going to turn.  I move over when I can see someone wanting to pass me...go for it.  I keep up with whatever is the posted speed limit.  If I have to turn off the road I'll try to do it as quickly as I can so the driver behind me won't be slowed down too much.  I guess just the usual things most people try to remember to do.

 Anyway, I do have a couple of pet peeves about other drivers which I share with a lot of you.
It is annoying when people put on their signal light when they're basically already making the turn.  Depending on the road, this can also be dangerous.
Driving too close to me.  I wish I had a sign in the back window I could switch on to say stay back.  It makes me a little nervous because I know if I have to stop suddenly, we are both going to be in trouble.
  This happened to me.  On a two lane winding road, a large truck carrying mattresses was following me much too closely. I turned a corner, had to brake because the police had pulled someone over and the mattress truck had to swerve wide into the opposite lane to avoid hitting me. Lucky for us all there was no oncoming traffic.

And lately I've gained a brand new pet peeve but this one has nothing at all to do with driving.

Since I've happily gained readers in Europe and the Netherlands and I don't speak Russian, German, Dutch, Swedish or any other language, I have to rely on Google Translate to read messages and posts.  It is very frustrating because so many of the translations are terrible.  Sometimes it reads as pure gobbledygook; sometimes I read certain lines out to Hubby because they are so laughable.
 And it leads me to wonder how my words get translated back.  You would think by now, Google could have come up with a better system.  Anybody else share this particular pet peeve with me?

And to put pet peeves completely into perspective.

This week we went to the funeral of a friend who was a year older than myself.  We'd visited him in hospital ten days ago and now, just like that it seems, he's gone.  What a strange feeling and long day we had.  They held the wake, funeral and reception all in the same day because many people had a long drive.  We were totally beat. We hardly spoke. Completely drained.

How Wolves Change Rivers

Meanwhile with some better news, it is nice to hear good news about the ecosystem.  Though I've read this video oversimplifies the contribution of the wolf, there is common belief they have greatly helped portions of the park revitalize in just the ways this video purports.



I have a little reading to do on the weekend.  Partway through The Perfect Girl by Gilly MacMillan.  A fast read that's for sure but enjoyable.



I hope to have a number of stitchy things to show you next week.  I have a few projects all poised at the same stage...the almost done stage. This is good because I'm getting there.  I'm dangling all my new projects I might start in front of myself like a carrot.  They look so good.

I'm casting about for a dessert to make this weekend.  Have several possibilities in mind.  Are you in the kitchen this weekend?

Finally a little listening sweet music, Vivaldi's Four Seasons and this is Winter with Julia Fischer. The beautiful violins start around the .39 mark and Julia's playing is amazing.



Hope wherever you are this weekend, in the kitchen, out and about or in your Pet Chair, you enjoy every minute.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Hopelessly Old Fashioned and Fairy Bread

I must have been born in the wrong century.  When I look at quilt designs, I am drawn to the old fashioned ones more often than the modern, as bright and fresh as they can look.
And I also love to think of the access rural women were given to designs through local newspapers and magazines so often including quilt patterns in their pages as regular items.  I know my grandmothers cut out patterns they came across in this way as they did with recipes.  Perhaps that can account for how some patterns became almost universal in the quilt world.

Dresdan plate, now there's an old fashioned pattern.
And I just love Michelle Ridgway's Dresdan plates.  Michelle just finished co-hosting a 1 Dresdan Plate a month challenge at her blog Michelle Ridgway Designs.  A different colour each month and such pretty fabrics.  She always has such wonderful projects on the go.

                                                   


I'm hopelessly old fashioned in lots of other ways too which could be another whole post.

For now finishing my 2016 starts is on my mind.  Here are my Quilty 365 circles hopefully in their last before shot.


I organized them by colours and now have to figure out how to arrange them for sewing together.  I'd also thought about trying to figure out a central medallion to somehow arrange these circles around, if that makes any sense. It would be nice to come up with something clever.  I'll have to do a little research.
 Any ideas, let me know.

And still it snows.  Hubby has been busy keeping our lane way cleared.


The sun was shining and I raced outside to get some sun on snow photos.  Well maybe not raced because by the time I got out, the sun was gone.  So I took this photo instead.  Haven't seen the sun since.

Before I leave you, have you heard of this trend?

Fairy Bread


Image titled Make Fairy Bread Step 5

Here is the recipe as found on Wikihow.

  • 8 slices of fluffy white bread
  • 1/2 cup hundreds and thousands (or colorful sprinkles)
  • 1/2 cup butter (or non-dairy substitute)
Hubby says he'd love to give it a try.

Monday, 9 January 2017

The Crown: Did You Watch?

Worth Every Penny
And Netflix has invested quite a lot of pennies!
Anyone else addicted to The Crown?  I just finished Season 1 and enjoyed every single minute.  I even love the opening credit scene with the molten metal and gold crown sinuously taking form; I can't look away. It is like watching a piece of art form in front of your eyes.


 I am happy to hear there are plans for at least three seasons and maybe up to six.

I am a bit of a royalist and follow a blog about Her Majesty's jewels called From Her Majesty's Jewel Vault. It's there on the right.  I love broaches in particular and love seeing her beauties.  I used to have a collection myself but lost them.
And speaking of the Queen; just now I am a little concerned about her health. Not much has been forthcoming from the palace about her other than the statement she still has a heavy cold and Princess Anne stating briefly that her mother is alright.
I am not a big Prince Charles and Camilla fan soooo....

This is a photo and quote from Heather at The Patchwork Heart, a great crochet site to check out.  Heather has the most wonderful eye for combining colours and making winning afghans in simple stitches.  My kind of designer.

                    


 I always think it is the little things that mean the most.  Sometimes even the tiniest things.  I used to smile whenever I heard the phrase. "Small things amuse small minds."  Yup, that's me.

Have you made a yearly goal?  A "just for 2017" goal?  Or are you making monthly goals?  I've been enjoying reading other peoples' goals not having taken the time to make my own.  Lots of people promising themselves to finish projects but also lots of promises to start whatever new projects strikes one's fancy.

For now finishing my 2016 starts is my goal.
 And on the subject of starts and crochet.
 Here is my crocheted hexagon project.  I finally got my wool and finished crocheting hexagons and edging them all in a white single crochet stitch.  I can't believe how time consuming just that step was.
This is a 7 foot table so I'm happy with the number I made.  I'll use this photo to help guide me when I join them.  I tried to get each colour to sort of trail through the group.



And yes, now to join them.  I can only blame The  Move for how behind I got on a couple of  these projects.  This one should have been wrapped up long ago.  But I loved crocheting hexagons I must say.
  A great little project in front of the t.v. but Rex is not impressed though he did watch me the whole time I was standing on the chair.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Tea Tangent and Free BOM's


Part of a hostess gift I received during the holidays included this tea, pomegranate white tea. I never used to think I liked flavoured teas as such; Earl Grey was about my limit for something different but these last couple of years I've developed more of a taste for them. It started with peppermint tea which I like when my sinuses are acting up, then I really liked the Earl Grey strawberry tea I had for a Mother's Day Tea one year and now this one which I'm enjoying very much.
 I do need two bags for my large mug.  It's become my late afternoon habit to enjoy a cup.


If you are interested, 27 Items All Tea Lovers Need In Their Lives is a great article featuring funny and sweet tea things for instance something my Hubby would love, a tea cup with a little built in shelf for his bikkie.

With almost a week into the new year already, it's time to get serious about choosing  new stitching projects especially those that are year long.
About that, I've made a little rule with myself; I can look but I'm not allowed to touch.  These first months are going to be finishing school for me.

There are a few free 2017 BOM's around the net. As I say,  I have been looking and in some cases I've downloaded the patterns just in case.  Just in case what exactly, I'm not sure; I live to be 120 and run out of patterns somehow.  Yeah right!

 Here is one of those BOM's, a surprisingly patriotic one.
2017 marks Canada's 150 birthday as a confederation.  Part of the tributes is this quilt composed of 150 red and white blocks with each block representing a particular pioneering Canadian woman.  It is a marvelous quilt to complete and the free patterns are being released 3 at a time.

                               Image result for The canadian 150 womens quilt


I have been hesitating to jump in mainly because it reminds me a lot of the Farmer's Wife quilt I worked on for 10 months of 2016.  By the end I had gotten tired of all the triangles and the exactness required for paper piecing each block.  But I must admit many of these blocks look easier and probably don't require all the little pieces that the FWQ blocks did.
  I love the reds and pinks and purples which make the quilt look so striking so you see I am tempted.
I will think on it.

Sara Barnes wrote about a neat little Stitch a long at her blog Brown Paper Bag. It is called 1 Year of Stitches and is based on Hannah Claire Somerville's 365 day project by the same name.  Hannah completed her stitch each day into her hoop and wound up with an eclectic, very arty looking piece of work.  It's wide open-the stitches, colours, patterns, whatever is all up to you so absolutely no pressure.


                   1 year of stitches: join the fun!

Sara provides the links so you can get all the details.  Again, I am so tempted.
  More later on about other stitch-alongs I've discovered. And please let me know of any you have found in your net travels.

I've talked about how Rex is always by my side. At night he makes a last sweep of the house and the very last thing he does is check my side of the bed before lying down in his bed.
I took this photo to show the after mess from making a Black Forest Cake on Christmas Eve.  I didn't realize it had been photobombed till I saw it on the computer.


I don't remember him being there; in fact I'm pretty sure I'd shooed him away.  Dogs and baking don't mix.

And see that kitchen window; here is my view out that window on January 1, 2017.


Wild, our weather has been wild.  Snowy, blowy, rainy, freezing back to snowy again.
Hope your weekend is calmer, at least weather-wise.