February 27 Cross Stitching update and the Avocado Keeper Experiment Outcome

February 27 – gosh February has really flown by.   The frigid cold has left and it might get up to 40 today – our snow banks have been melting the past few days.

In addition to getting another 2″ or so knit on  my sweater sleeve, woodenboxfromstoneycreekI finished off all four blocks  on Wednesday night that will get attached to the sides  the sides of this wooden pencil box.

I used a couple of the called for colors but substituted most of them for different colors I liked.   I’m waiting for the last item I need  – some chip board and sticky board – haven’t decided which I will use to mount these to the wood.   Once I get the pieces all ready to attach to the wood, I’ll decide if I really want to paint the wood or not.  I’m not fond of painting things like this and I think the stitching will take up most of the space but will wait to see what I think and if I need to order paint.

prairieschooler-prairiechristmasThe four blocks I made were taken from this Prairie Schooler leaflet Book No.. .10, Prairie Christmas.  And they are stitched on 20 ct Aida.  The stitch count varies on some of them by 1 to 3 stitches so they are not all exactly the same size but will work just fine – they average about 2-1/4″.   I made the house that is in the 3 o’clock position except I made the trees a different style – one as originally designed and one a bit smaller, different style. and there’s supposed to be a crescent moon that I left off.  I made the camel but left off the stars in the background, the quilt design next to the camel, and the partridge in a pear tree.

20210227_1Then I decided to start a new Easter design for a small project which I will finish as a little stuffed pillow.   I love this giant leaping bunny — a chocolate bunny of course – mine is dark chocolate. 🙂

But I’ve made a few changes to this one.  Isn’t that carrot fabric on the bottom cute – it looks like flannel in the picture – but I’m not adding any carrots to mine.  That green scalloped part at the bottom of the stitched area is supposed to be grass with carrots growing out of it.  I had found some little wooden Easter eggs from The Bee Company.  (some of you may recall the Christmas trees I was embroidering and adding wooden buttons and charms to in the past — those wooden buttons also were made by The Bee Company – they do all kinds of wonderful little doodads for embellishing.)  Anyway when I saw those I knew I wanted to add them to an Easter stitch.  Then when I got this pattern, there are 6 eggs and  7 scallops on this design so perfect to put one egg between the scallops.  So I changed the “grass” to a bluish color that I had that was closest to the egg color and got the scalloped all stitched Thursday night, and last night I started on the bunny which I’m close to finishing.  It’s probably going to end up being a 8″ or 9″ long finished thing once sewn together (but won’t be square – mine will be rectangular) when all is said and done since I’m stitching it on 14 ct Raw Linen Aida by Zwiegart.

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I will get back to working on Farmhouse Christmas later today and one of my long awaited Floss Packs for that ordered back in December, along with a little needle minder to match, HAVE FINALLY ARRIVED!!! So I don’t have to worry about running out of the Classic Colorworks floss I wanted to use.

And yes I know you’ve been waiting and wondering how my avocado keeper experiment went.   I got the avocado keeper from Amazon.  I wanted to be able to store half an avocado – I’m one person and if I cut an avocado for sandwich or salad I generally only use half of it and never had good results with any of the myriad of ways suggested to store them.  If it turns brown, I simply cannot use it. But after thinking about the fact that I have an onion keeper – that keeps cut into onions fresher longer and doesn’t let any onion odor escape into the fridge (and of course it’s shaped like a large onion so very cute), I decided to look for an avocado keeper.  IT WORKS!!   You of course place the cut side down against the base and it has a depression in it to accommodate the pit and because it lets little air onto the cut side it didn’t turn brown.   I meant to check it the next day but it was the second day when I remembered and it hadn’t turned brown.  I’m not looking to store them for longer than that – I just don’t want to have to eat a whole one in the same day.   So it was a very good buy and I bought a pack of two of them so will be sending the second one off to my Mom and Dad.

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Now as for today – after refilling my coffee cup – I’ve got the kitchen to clean and then may head back into the sewing room to do a bit more rearranging in there – I keep getting side tracked from that task and do a little, then move on to something else – but eventually it will all get done.

2-21-21 Sunday Plans

It’s nearly noon and so far a few small tasks have been done – when was the last time I did laundry – I seem to have a bunch of it but then I don’t do it if I don’t have full loads but I seem to have full loads of everything I sort it into.  Brunch/lunch is nearly ready and I’ve found a couple new recipes I might want to try later this week. I’m getting bored with what I’ve been cooking (or heating up) although last night’s roast beef with carrots, potatoes and onions was very delicious.  I, who am not really a gravy girl — I don’t like a lot of sauces/gravies – made gravy and although it was not as good as my Mom’s – it was quite tasty.  But depending on how I feel about it a bit later, I may try some honey-dijon salmon and roasted parmesan asparagus — if maybe just those good roast leftovers.  Can you tell I’m hungry – everything sounds good.

I also may have to have an afternoon snack of guacamole because I decided I needed to eat more avocados – good for the cholesterol – but storing that half avocado no matter how many different ways I’ve tried it (and trust me I have tried them all) except for an avocado keeper.  I have an onion keeper which keeps cut onions fresh for so long and does not let the odor escape into your fridge so I’m interested in seeing how the avocado keeper I got works.  And since I got a spice pack for making guacamole, I may try might up just a bit with a half avocado to test both the spices and how well the keeper works.  Yes -that’s today’s exciting project — testing the avocado keeper.  🙂

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I did make some progress on the camel block and the partridge block –but not all the blocks in this pattern are the same size.  First, I made the border for the camel block too small (my miscounting error) and then realized that at a glance all the patterns “seem” to line up above each other when printed out but some of them have slightly smaller grids which is not real obvious at first.  So, I need to figure out if the camel will fit on the box with the stitch count including the border.  But, I just have his blanket to finish.

After brunch I’m heading into the sewing room to start some reorganizing in there.  Now that the temps are not below zero, it’s not so cold to work in that room – it’s the coldest room in the apartment.

2-20-21 Saturday Stuff

It’s one of those days where I kept getting side tracked all morning with various things – other than what I had planned to do.  I was going to frame the Home for the Holidays stitch.  But first decided to load the dishwasher and start a load of laundry, discovered a load of towels still in the dryer that needed to be folded and put away, and a couple other little tasks like straighten out the spice cabinet because every time I went in there it seemed something fell out at me. LOL.  Then when I went to gather the framing supplies decided – no –  despite thinking I would just frame that project as is, even tho it was right against the top and bottom of the frame, when I looked at it again I  just couldn’t do it.  And my initial thought of removing a stich or two from the “H” would still make it look too small for the frame and just bug me whenever I looked at it.2-

So this frame is out of the running and back on the shelf (and will fit another upcoming project and be a perfect color for it)

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and this is the frame below I’m going to use but there’s a bit too much blank space around the edges in this one so I spent part of the morning doing stitch counts and plotting out a simple border to go around it to balance it in the frame better – plus I get to use more of that variegated thread for the border which will look pretty.

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(Ignore the mark on the left side of the frame – it has been wiped off after I saw it in the photo)  So back to stitching on this one later today  to get the border added and then get it framed.  And I need to find my tacky glue so I can put a dab on the back of teh snowman button and holly over the door so they don’t tilt and stay upright.

Last night I was really lazy – after finishing the outline for the second square to go on the pencil box, I discovered that the color the pattern stated for the main camel body is just not right.  It looks greenish gray and since I was too lazy to go pull out the container of floss and search for a new color to use for that, I decided to stitch the outline for the third pattern since I had the colors sitting right next to me.  The third one is the partridge block so I’ve got the border stitched, the branch the bird sits on and one shade of gold on all the pears added.

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And that cross stitch package that I’ve been waiting for a month and a half for that was supposed to be delivered yesterday….. well, tracking says its in transit “but will be delayed.”  Sigh……….someday I will get that package…….

A little star block finished

Just a quick pic of the star block I finished this afternoon.  You may recall the blocks in this group I’m \making will go on the sides of a wooden pencil box when done.  One down, second one started (a camel).

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I finished off the stitching for the second little Valentine’s Day stitch I wanted to make so it can to into the “finishing pile” which will entail some sewing but at the moment – hmmm – that sewing room is a disaster.  But I will possibly be working on that this weekend (reorganizing that room) since I’ve given myself a 3-day weekend and took a vacation day.  I’d like to move some stuff around on the shelving units and closet shelves so I can put all my cross stitch stuff in one area – frames and supplies together – instead of on a shelf here or there as it is now.

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This stitch was supposed to end with that mauve-ish colored triangle border but it was so small on the stitch count I used I wanted to make it bigger.  Plus, I couldn’t decide if I wanted the arrows red or purple so made one of each and needed to use those two colors a bit more to balance out the design.  So I just made up some additional borders as I went. The fabric is

So I went back to stitching on Farmhouse Christmas and have made good progress.  And miracle of miracles, as I write this, I am awaiting delivery of one of the floss packs ordered (among other things in that order) back in December.   After two emails to the shop politely asking if they have any idea when it will ship (and the first response was apologizing and “I will get it in the mail right away”) followed by an email two weeks later asking if I might actually receive it before the end of February – that day it finally got shipped.  Clearly my idea of “mailing right away” is far different.   If I had been told (1) some of the things are out of stock or (2) due to Covid we are short staffed but I expect it to mail in x no. weeks (3) we are waiting for stuff from suppliers yet  or (4) we’re simply so far behind we don’t know — I would have been fine with those responses and tried to patiently wait.  But if you tell me “I’ll make sure its mailed right away” and I have to follow up again in 2 weeks because there’s been no shipping notice yet – well you won’t get repeat business from me.

FarmhouseChristmas-Block5

 

So here is my first block finished for Farmhouse Christmas.  It’s block No. 5 called “Grandma’s Quilt.”   So my plan was to stitch one block a month but since I had a little more time I wanted to stitch last night and was too lazy to go get the other project I had started on, I decided since I still had some green thread left on my needle I’d stitch on the next block until I ran out of the green.

I also decided I didn’t want my blocks in the exact same order as all the other ones you see when they stitch it all as one – with #1 in the upper left and #9 block in the lower right.   So I think I may reverse that order – going 9 to 1 because  you know I like to be different. 🙂

So I started and finished the green on the two trees with green in them on Block 9, putting it in the first block space.  Block 9 is called Baa Baa Black Sheep  and yes, you might have guessed there will be black sheep in front of a barn on that block.

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So I’ve added my finished Block to the Farmhouse Christmas Page  – which you will find listed in the top bar of the blog.  If you are stitching along with Judy and I and want me to add a photo of your block to that page to share with others, please email your FINISHED block photos (I’m only posting finished block images on that page not works in progress of partial blocks).

Today has started off as a lazy day – I’m still in my bathrobe and slippers and have been planning what I might want to do today.  I’ll be anxiously awaiting the delivery of that stitchy order, Amazon is also delivering this weekend some Reptile Terrarium Bedding – no I have no reptiles but the little cross stitch pillows (which I used to use plastic pellets to stuff to give them some weight and make them stay where put) these days (20 years later or more) are now stuffed with sawdust or ground walnuts to give them some heft to stand up when set on a shelf to display or in a basket. And I discovered the reptile bedding I ordered (there are many different kinds)  is actually 100%  ground walnuts  and if you order it as bedding (rather than ordering a a bag of ground walnuts) it is cheaper.  Hmmm that’s a bit crazy.   But then I will have the supplies necessary to start assembling pillows.   I may also work on framing one of the pieces I have done.

February 15, 2021

I made some good progress on my Valentine stitches yesterday.   I finished the stitching for the first one.   It gets some fabric and trim and buttons spelling LOVE added to it as shown yesterday, but the stitching is one on it. 

So last night I started on the other little one I had shown yesterday and will work on that in between Farmhouse Christmas when I want a change of pace but the other Valentine one should be pretty quick too.  

And, the frame I had ordered that I thought might work with my Home for the Holidays 2020 stitch – which I just ordered before really figuring out what fabric I wanted – arrived in the mail today.   The color of it is exactly what I wanted – sort of a rust rather than red – and it’s a bit tight (because I had messed up and had to fudge some placement).  It fits in the frame from top to bottom with no margin around it.  I think I’m just going to use it because it’s just a seasonal thing and because it also sums of 2020 – where everything just wasn’t right. 🙂   I also got the two snowmen buttons and the holly over the door sewn on last night.  I need to add a dab of glue under the holly because the holes in the button are off kilter and it wants to tilt but otherwise this one is ready to get framed.  And actually I may pick out a stitch or two of the “H” in Home  so it doesn’t butt right to the edge of the frame and look like it’s hidden underneath.  I do so love that variegated thread in the words.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Wacky hearts 4/29/12

I thought I’d start with a throw back to the 2012 (or so this photo was dated) – I think that’s from when I was doing a monthly themed wall hanging sew along.  It’s called Wacky Hearts because of those curvy hearts appliqued in the middle – fun to stitch!  The pdf pattern is still available to download  if you go to the right sidebar under PDF patterns.   I saw it yesterday on the sewing room shelf and pulled it out to toss over the back of the couch.

In the just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse (colder) category – I opened the door to sweep a bit of snow off my doormat since I’m expecting an Amazon delivery to and brrrrr. I checked the temp – minus 8 currently/high today will be zero – but at least we didn’t get much more snow after I reported about it yesterday, somewhere between 2 and 3 inches is all I think. And at least when it’s this cold its very light and fluffy snow so easy to clear off the sidewalks. This cold weather is getting a bit old tho so I hope the alleged high temp they are listing now for Wednesday which is 20 degress is true. That will be a huge improvement.

Judy and I had been talking (emailing) about Valentine stitch projects the past couple days and she sent me a link to a “Love you…” design on the Hands On Designs webpage — go to the blog section and there are several free cross stitch patterns and she has done a free one for her wedding anniversary each year which are on the “love” theme that would work for Valentine’s too. I knew I had to make it because I had an order in the mail for those exact buttons that are used on it that spell L-O-V-E intending to put it on some Valentine’s project. I recently (scroll down a post or two) showed a couple hand dyed fabrics I had gotten from Etsy. One was this pretty red (but not the normal bright Christmas red that most Aidas are). So last night I pulled a couple threads to start on the “Love you…” design from Hands On Designs and above is my progress.

The other freebie pattern from that same designer’s blog I want to make  is “L-O-V-E”.  I think one of the random button packs I ordered had some teeny tiny hearts in it too.

Before I get back to any stitching tho – one of my least favorite tasks to do is cleaning out the fridge but it needs it. Time to get dressed and get busy. I did wander into the sewing room yesterday and straightened up one corner of it so maybe I’ll just go crazy today and put put another area back in order – you never know! 🙂

Jack’s Got Bling!

Jack is finished and I love how it turned out.  I put the fabric on the back of the cube and added a ribbon to hide where they meet — repurposed ribbon from The Loopy Ewe when they carried fabrics and it arrived all prettily packaged with a red grosgrain ribbon tied around it.   It looks like one corner on top is at a bit of an angle but it really isn’t – must be the way I took the photo.

Here’s the side view.    The “bling” rhinestone snowflakes are pinned in place for right now till I decide if I want to leave them or not.  Jack has two  snowman friends, Henry and Harry, which I also plan to make at some point.

Jack’s Vital Statistics:

Pattern: Jack by All Through the Night Fabric: 25ct Lugana Basalt/White Splash Stitched 2 over 2 with DMC Used Helen D (Flosstube) No Sew Cube Tutorial Finished size cube: 7″ x 11″ x 3″

Saturday Stitchin Update – 2-13-21

I’ve made some progress since the the last images of both of these projects.    Farmhouse Christmas – I have some of the outlining done for the individual blocks and then decided to work on the center block.  That’s the one I have most of the colors I want for — I’m still (going on 2 full months now) waiting on a floss pack (or two) for this project with the Classic Colors threads.    Some of the colors I’ll use DMC for if the Classic Colors doesn’t arrive before I finish this whole project  ….. um… I mean before I get to certain points.  So I may be skipping around for a bit as I await additional colors.  The Classic Colors have some light/dark shading in them which I why I have it stuck in my head that I really want to use them.  But here is where I am this morning on Farmhouse Christmas.

I have also got a bit more work done on The Prairie Schooler project – more star designs.  I picked similar looking colors to the originals but I’m just sort of deciding where I want to use them in each area.

 

 

And some “Happy Mail” as it is called in Flosstube circles (much like the “Box of Fun” stickers The Loopy Ewe puts on their yarn boxes) arrived that I had been waiting on.    Two pieces of hand dyed Aida from Dames of the Needle (Etsy), Sweeney Red (which I wanted for some Valentine and Christmas projects) and the other is Winter’s Dusk and its an opalescent – I think you can see the sort of sparkly blueish/green flecks in it — its really pretty in person and will be used for some wintery projects.

Then there are the various buttons from Just Another Button Company for several projects.   The buttons that spell LOVE – valentines project; BOO – halloween of course.  The packet with the Sheep on it contains two very tiny hearts and a little bird (Valentine project again).  One packet has two different size snowmen, some holly/berries and that button packet will be used to decorate my Home for the Holidays 2020 stitch and the frame from that project is in transit and should arrive in a day or two.  Th other packet on the bottom is various pieces for something I have not yet stitched.  Fun little additions.   As for today’s projects – there is some definite cleaning/tidying up around here that must be done before any stitching or knitting is done.  It’s minus 2 degrees right now – so much for taking out the recycling since I’m not going to wander out in this and yes, it is snowing again.  Woke up to about 2 additional inches yesterday and so far today at least another 2″ and it’s still falling.

 

 

Prairie Schooler – Prairie Christmas

I pulled some colors – I had about half or maybe a bit more of the colors called for and just substitute similar colors for the rest and added in a blue – cause I thought it would go well and plan to use it in a bit of the quilty star block. With all these new bright lights around here you would think I would have picked out the floss while sitting under one of them, but no. My bright red – which looked bright red at the time, is in reality a very bright reddish pink. Oh well – it only gets used in the quilt block and it still goes with the rest of the colors so note to self – check it under the bright lights. But one quarter of the first block is done.