Sunday, 17 December 2017

The Down Side of Christmas (And There is One)

Has this ever happened to you?

Yesterday I went into my sewing room feeling a little down...just a bit out of sorts I guess you could call it; came out two hours later feeling just fine.

I think that proves right there that stitching is theraputic. As long as this is true for me, I can justify the cost of all those pretty things I buy for this habit of mine.

Truthfully, I have to guard my feelings a little this time of year.  Christmas was always very special to Newfoundlanders and a highly celebrated time of year. Memories of  Home Christmases are still very much with me and I can miss Newfoundland and family and the happier old times very much.

I know I am not unique with this situation; Christmas becomes delicate for many of us for any number of reasons.  Kind of sad that there is that down side to Christmas.  I work hard to not dwell on it but it creeps in from time to time.

But getting on with needs must!

The wonderful Nurdan Kanber has designed this Christmas cross stitch project to celebrate the beloved Little Women book by Louisa May Alcott.  Did you read the book or see one of the movie versions?


I love how these old movies endure through the decades.  This is a clip from the Little Women version with Susan Sarandon, Claire Danes and Wynona Rider.  A little Christmas music too.

On the Stitching Front

The pretty hearts for the Scandinavian Christmas border...

Are now all appliqued and I have the sore finger tips to prove it. Used a few band aids along the way.
Is there anyone else who just can't get used to thimbles??  I  just thought of one of my grandmothers who would have put that this way..."used yourself to thimbles".

 I loved making the house and angel.  I thought Santa would be my favourite but no. I do love houses.

Poor angel is headless here.

My Wall now and she is sporting a head!

Santa is up last but certainly not least. This morning will be my stitching time today as a get together is on the agenda for supper.  I plan to make some sort of pineapple fluff thing for dessert. I have fresh pineapple, a favourite of Hubby's.  I'll let you know how that turns out.

Hope all is rosy in your December garden today! (I'm sure that is actually true for my friends in the Southern Hemisphere!)

Something that makes me so happy is to be able to link up with other stitchers the world over through these marvelous sites-Kathy's Quilts

Thursday, 14 December 2017

A Happy Robber, An Elf and My FMQ Adventure

Tuesday we had a snowfall alert for a 36 hour period. Such is met with mixed reactions...glee for the snowmobilers, skiers and kids hoping for a snow day.  But not so happy for anyone traveling.

Then Wednesday, temperatures plummeted to minus 26C with windchill overnight so walking the dogs early morning was definitely a dress up affair.  I even got out the balaclava Hubby had bought me at Princess Auto.  It is bright orange so I struck quite a striking picture in the white woods. Hubby said I looked like a happy robber.

No not can't make these things look un-menacing.  Hope this picture doesn't scare anyone!!

 But it covered my cheeks which was all I wanted.
 Then I had to shovel the front steps because shovelling is my job and I like them cleaned off. This is good for me and keeps the body parts moving.  And all that fresh air is invigorating.

 I really like the Down to Earth blog and came across this posting.  I found it very interesting.  Animals are remarkable adaptors and considering how us humans keep spreading it's a good thing they are.

How Animals Move Through Cities

I loved having a little elf stop by to help me decorate for Christmas.  What a good reason to get it all done.

And I enjoyed watching his way of decorating too like the garland should hang like a waterfall

and these red birds should stick close together because they're friends.

Stitching news: Nice to have a finish to report!

I have my little Happy Scrappy Trees table runner finished and on said table.  I wish now I had widened it but the length is just right.  I dropped Tree #12 because it was too much like one of the others.  I used FMQ to quilt it and that is always an adventure for me.

 I worked stars in the "sky" section and was pleased with those.  The slightly wonkier ones suited the wonky trees I figured. ~ Smile~

And worked out a big curl for the bottom part.  This bit was fun to do. I traced the design onto the fabric with my Frixion pen.

I had to remove all those stitches the first time because I was not pleased with the flow of the stitching. ..a little jerky in spots.  I learned to take frequent pauses and readjust and relax my hands.

I used a zigzag stitch for the binding.

A great feeling to have it done and put to use. I like these pine cones the little elf and I collected from around the property.  I keep thinking I should do something clever with them.

So "Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat" ...are you familiar?

It is adding so much to my blogging life to link up with Not Afraid of ColorThe Needle and Thread NetworkStitching Cubby Hole , Confessions of a Fabric AddictBusy Hands Quilts and Our World Tuesday.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Can You See What I See?

Can You See What I See

There are three deer here though I know that is hard to believe. When I first thought I spotted movement (from my kitchen window), it seemed as if there was some strange optical illusion at play.  It wasn't till the first one stepped out of the trees and onto the laneway that I knew for certain I was seeing deer.

 It is deer hunting season and it hurts me to think of such graceful creatures being killed.  However, I am a carnivore and will eat venison so my dilemma continues.

Two large and the smallest one is in front there showing why they are called White Tailed Deer.  They are part of a large population of them here in Ontario.
 Interesting how even stark bare-leafed trees can provide camouflage.

My chipmunks have gone underground, but the black, gray and red squirrels are still rushing about trying to beat each other to the bird feeders.

 Taking a Break from Scandinavian Christmas

My fingers are making protesting noises today from the tiny applique stitching I've been doing lately. I am now working on Block 4 of my S.C. and also cross stitching the snow flakes for the border. I think it is going well, as in I am still on track to fulfill my OMG for December.

 In the meantime I began this little runner for my sofa table made up of wonky Christmas type trees.  Just working around the green now with a little hand work that is not as exacting... blanket stitch and totally questioning why I try to make up my own patterns! (Will this look ridiculous!)

Wreath Making

Just love this tutorial on how to make your own wreath.  She makes it looks sooo easy!
But what I really like is the idea of using local foliage and that this could be a winter wreath and stay up through the winter months.

And speaking of wreaths, one of my fb friends decided she would try her hand at making outdoor winter decorations.  Here's the set she made for me.  I know I will enjoy it all winter. 

I think she did a great job.

As always happy to link this post to some wonderful sites hosting parties that bring so many of us on the web together. I always try to visit three sites at each party and have learned so much!
Kathy's QuiltsQuilting is More Fun Than HouseworkSmall Quilts and Doll QuiltsSew Can SheBusy Hands QuiltsOur World Tuesday and Normandy Life.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

I Like a Little Morris in My Life

I know a lot of us like this saying by William Morris because I see it on your blogs. 
Image result for morris have nothing in your house
My Morris inspired bag is one I bought at a quilting store and really value. I only use it to house my good wool or some such in the sewing room.  Someday it might see the light of day LOL.

I just got out my Morris scarf (as I call it) again to wear now with the colder weather and just love it so much.  It is one of two scarves that I've received compliments from perfect strangers about. 

I also love Michele Hill's blog  William Morris in Quilting. Michele writes about all things Morris and also shares beautiful photos of life happenings.  I go back a ways with Michelle because I'd bought her book long before this blogging business came along.       
Her book is gorgeous with beautiful templates. I've pored over it many times.

I also own this book of cross stitch patterns adapted from Morris works.

And  I loved working on this cross stitch design from the book.  It's called Strawberry Thief and I really need to get it framed.

My sister gave me this beautiful book for Christmas last year.

The sweet illustrations are by Liz Catchpole.  So soft and pretty.

The post Black Friday sales beckoned me and I did cave in. Of course, I've had my eye on various Morris inspired fabrics for quite some time. This one is Moda's William Morris 2017 by the Victoria and Albert Museum.  Mine came from the great folks at  Green Fairy Quilts.

It just arrived and my big question for myself will be...can I cut into such beautiful fabric! The idea of chopping it up just seems too harsh or something.  My scissors and (especially) I are not worthy. LOL
What pattern out there will warrant doing that.

 But I do feel myself edging closer to working something Morris like in fabric so if you know of something, please let me know.  I welcome all suggestions!

There's something in the blues in particular that I just love.

But do you have a favourite fabric you can't bear to cut?  Or perhaps I just need to give it time.

So that's my current Morris likes.  How many of you share my interest in his work?

And here are places where Positivity Reigns- Not Afraid of ColorIt's A Small Town Live and Good and Random Fun.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

How Lazy is This?

How Lazy is this? I just googled crock pot meat loaf.

This is going to not only be a slow stitching Sunday, but slow all round and I have a good reason.
I fell asleep about 9 pm last night and woke at 3 am with absolutely no way of going back to sleep.  I was up fixing a tall glass of lemon water and completely confusing the dogs who kept trying to lead me downstairs to give them breakfast at 3:15.

Turns out crock pot meat loaf is definitely a thing but you have to mix it all up just like making one in the oven.  I think I need something where you just throw everything in.  Next up was looking up a ground beef stew thing; I decided on the one below because I can add beans and corn and a pile of mushrooms I was given by someone who grows them. Mine won't look as nice as this one put together by Corey at Family Fresh Meals.

                                     Cheesy Crockpot Cowboy Casserole - Family Fresh Meals

Here is her link to the Crockpot Cowboy Casserole recipe. ( Not sure what cowboys have to do with this and Hubby is about as far from a cowboy as you could get, LOL.)  But with some mashed potatoes, I'm sure he'll love it.

Back to business.

 Scrappy Happy Christmas Tree Runner

I have a sofa table that is calling out for a Christmas runner.  I keep a neat Ikea one there most of the year but it is definitely summery.

I think this is my own idea...I mean as much as any of us can own ideas these days even though it is so vital that original work be protected.  But maybe I saw one similar somewhere.  Let me know if you did.  But I did look through some colouring books and old magazines to come up with a newish pattern for each of the trees. When I was eventually satisfied with the placement, I used fusible backing and ironed some of the pieces in place.  I've kept them a little loose so I can readjust them along the  way. Then I began hand stitching a little blanket stitch around the edges.

I loved how this project allowed me to use up the reds and greens that I have in my little scrap box and also provided a pattern that could stretch out as long as I needed it to. First I started with 8 trees then expanded it to 12, all of them slightly wonky.

I used a neutral light grey fabric for the background that has white stars and circles.  It helps the trees stand out, I think.

Blocks 3 and 4 of my Scandinavian Christmas blocks were all cut and freezer papered on Friday- there is an angel, a reindeer, a house and a large Santa here.

 All the while I listened to this audiobook, The Big Why by Michael Winter.  I said to someone I found just about every sentence interesting and I didn't want the book to end.  It is always interesting to a Newfoundlander to see ourselves and our province through the eyes of someone from away, in this case an American artist from New York.  I guess that idea applies where ever you are from.

                                  Image result for the big why by michael winter

Well I won't be causing any ruckus today.  Just a bit of slow stitching in my flannel wear while something else does the cooking.
And linking up with other stitchers at Kathy's Quilts.  Also so happy to join Quilting is More Fun Than Housework and Love Laugh Quilt.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

OMG,Thrift Store Woolies and First Merry Christmas

My November One Monthly Goal was completed a week early.  I really like the look of each block of my Patchwork Year BOM individually quilted and sashed.  One of my commentors said why don't you just leave each one and change them up monthly on a wall somewhere.  I checked around and found out some people have done just that with their 12 blocks.  I would embroidery the month on each one in that case. I have lots of time to make up my mind about the final presentation.

 So Pot Holder quilting is a success but I won't know completely till I decide to actually stitch them all together.  My, I love working on this Kathy Schmitz project so much. (The sides are not as wonky as this looks!)

Meanwhile I do admit I enjoyed the challenge of getting something done in a set time frame.  I will join the December One Monthly Goal over at Elm Street Quilts with this next plan for December.

My Scandinavian Christmas I dare say that I will have the blocks stiched and sewn together in the form of a flimsy by January. Well, that will be the plan.

With the downturn in temperatures, I am into sweaters and staying warm.  Here is my very thrifty purchase at a local charity shop.  It is a Woolrich cardigan which you would know can fetch a pretty penny but I paid $10 for it. It fit me perfectly and I loved the colour- a deep burgundy.  I also loved the embroidered flowers on pockets and elbow patches. After a good soak in Woolite, it was ready to wear.
 (Btw, my hands are not insanely big like this picture seems to show which reminds me of the Jerry Seinfeld episode about the date who had "man hands"- link is  here if you'd like to see what I'm talking about.  I loved that show.)

I like that skirt I'm wearing.  It was no bargain but I've been wearing it for a few years and still like it.  From the Sundance catalogue where you might like to check out the artisan jewelry section especially the personalized items.  I love the way jewelry can really mean so much.  For instance do you like this?

                          A men's personalized pewter cuff bracelet with appealing sheen and fine lettering.

Meanwhile a little Christmas crept into my life as I got to attend the local town Santa Claus Parade last Saturday.
I imagine this is a typical event happening in small towns all over North America and that thought makes me smile.

 This year's theme was the Canada 150th anniversary and there were just enough marching bands, bag pipes, and carollers, all of which I love.  The happy smiles on all the faces, young and old, and everyone calling out Merry Christmas was wonderful to be a part of.

Image result for carleton place santa claus parade

And these dancers, cleverly decked out to look like the RCMP, our Canadian police force, were amazing.  (photo by Robert McDonald)

Image may contain: 7 people, people smiling, night and outdoor

I also love linking this post with Not Afraid of Color,  Elm Street QuiltsIt's A Small Town Life,  My Quilt InfatuationNeedle and Thread Network and Good and Random Fun.
Thank you all for hosting!

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Embroidery, Cones and Roast "Beast"

A light snow covered the ground this morning and it was minus 5 degrees...brisk but very invigorating for my walk. The dogs love to sniff all the new smells overnight creatures wandering our trails must leave and their mood is one I can describe as joyful.  I can't help but sort of match them somewhat in thinking too, yes, isn't this all wonderful.

I've been noting an abundance of evergreen cones on our trees...where none were last year.

The belief is that this is a sign of a hard winter with lots of snow and the extra cones higher up on the tree are food to help sustain wildlife throughout such hard times. Other parts of the province are also reporting lots of cones this year, so much so that the Weather station had a meteorologist address the issue.

Of course he said this was a myth.  That in fact the extra cones are self preservation for the tree itself.  Having the cones higher than usual is another way of having them available for birds to carry the seeds wide.  But he did admit it was a very nice myth.

Here is a link to read more about conifer cones if in the unlikelihood that you are a nature nerd like me and would find the fact that it is the females that are higher on the branches interesting!

So appropriate that I am working on a snowman today-still this week.  His scarf is giving me a bit of grief. For starters I think the cream colour is too close to his white so I'm going to change it to a darker cream in hopes it will not blend in with his body.  The stripes are kind of fiddly but doable.  I'm glad I didn't stitch any of this down till I had a good look through the camera's eye.

And chickens need wings and feathers still and the reindeer need eyes, mouths and saddle blanket decorations on this one.  There is a surprising amount of hand work to finish these blocks but all of it enjoyable.

I know my American friends would have feasted on turkey recently, but we had a roast "beast" on Friday. Just so you know we are not always eating soup, lol.  That yellowish stuff is mustard pickles...any of you like that?  Hubby had never had them till I came along and now loves them like I do. It's a little hard to tell but there is turnip, carrots, peas and potatoes here.

I have registered for the Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2018.  I've visited the site several times and looked at the wonderful works of art really that some have made of their "pages".  I'm looking forward to it and would hope to see some of you there too.
 The CQJP 2018 link is here if you'd like to check it out.

If you know of other BOM's that you think would interest me, please let me know.  I love the idea of a block a month which is manageable to me.
Happy Stitching All!

So thankful to link this post with all the happy stitchers at Love Laugh QuiltFree Motion By the RiverStitch All the ThingsThe Quilting Room With Mel and Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework.  Thanks for hosting all!