Friday, March 23, 2012

Productivity with Cross-stitching and Yeah, it is spring.

Wow, I went for over a year without posting in this blog and now I have a second blog post in less then a week. Good things happen when you try to avoid FACEBOOK. LOL!

I am really making some great progress on the "Old Friends" piece. I am really loving this bear and she will look even better when she has all the outline stitching completed on her.

I really love the accidental lavender shade in the Aida cloth. It really seems to make those floss colors shine.

In addition to working on this "Old Friends" piece, I also found all my supplies to another unfinished cross-stitch that is actually very close to being completed. I started working on a SAL (Stitch - a- long) that was designed by Sylvia Kuhnert out in Germany and whom provided the design project freely for anyone who was interested. Sylvia's Kreuzstichliebe is the website and she has a new SAL that she has started for this spring. Be sure to check it out. The one I am working on was for the full year of 2010. Each month she presented a new part of the design and she called the project "My Little Heart."  It was a year long calender. Each picture in the grid represents a theme for each new month. I was doing quite well staying on top of it until the bursitis situation developed in my shoulder.

Here is an image of where I am at in this project. I have made a few little personal tweaks of my own, changing colors at times and adding outlines for each picture. I have also adjusted a few changes to the border.

The months start left to right with January. I added the September scarecrow yesterday and played with the slight additions to the border.  It is hard to see in the scan of the image but I have added gold metallic thread in the border. In person it really adds that simple touch of regal bling to the piece. I am still trying to decide what I will do with the finished piece. Framing will always be lovely but I am considering turning it into a small quilted wall hanging. 

Spring has really been roaring through Ohio this week. We spent part of our Sunday ducking down in the basement from Tornado warnings and endured three different hail storms. The hail was about the size of hazelnuts. It was insane. The area where all the backyards meet became instantly flooded as did a large corner of the yard across the street from us. By Tuesday all the water was gone and our temps were crazily in the mid 80's. We actually had to turn our AC on for a while by Wednesday evening. Rain came back through last night and cooled things down to be more reasonable today. We even have sun shine again. One of the things I really look forward to every single spring is the blooming of my magnolia tree. I LOVE that tree! Joe has threatened to cut that tree down nearly every year too because of where it resides so close to the driveway and has to be dodged when turning the cars around in the driveway when trying to get out on the road. I did not plant that tree in that spot. Joe's mother planted that tree there. In the years after she planted it, that tree would never bloom for her but in the spring we lost her to cancer.... that tree went into full bloom. As long as we live here, it will never be cut down unless it dies on its own accord. I managed to go out the other day while it was still so warm and take quite a few photos of the tree in full flowering. I hope you will enjoy them as much as I do. :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Eeeeek! Has it truly been over a year since I last posted on my blog?!

I am telling you, 2011 was a blur and so far 2012 is becoming one too. I have been so lazy about keeping up on this blog. I am so sorry. We just seemed to be hopping through 2011 so fast. It was our youngest son's last year of school. Preparing for this new big change for Jared and for us as well was very hard I think for all of us. It was a time to be making several decisions. We thought he would go on to college but in the end he didn't quite feel ready for this big leap just yet. Maybe next fall he will feel differently. Jared did quite well though during his senior year. He received several awards through the school year. Here are just two of them...

Honor Roll and an award for his work in Web Publishing.

Graduation in June was a big deal of course. He was so happy that Joe was doing well enough to be there to see him graduate. He worried and still does about his dad's health all the time and was so afraid Joe would not still be living by the time graduation rolled around especially since Joe had a close call back on New Years Eve just 6 months before graduation. Joe "the Iron Man" wasn't about to let anything stop him for seeing his son graduate.

June 4, 2011
Joe and Jared outside the Nationwide Arena after the commencement ceremony.

The time stamp on the photos is wacko. The day is correct, but the time itself is not stamping properly.

He was so happy that day! We all were and so proud of him. One of his accomplishments was completing 5 math units during his high school years and later after after graduation received a certificate recognizing him with a specialization in mathematics. Jared also completed as one of those math courses the college level Calculus course and received credit for it from Kenyon College. Not to shabby for the kid whom the pediatrician claimed would never learn to read, write or due simple math calculations because of having autism. Boy was she wrong, lol!

Here are a few more photos of Jared and his older brother A.J.

Jared has developed a passion for the color red.

If I didn't know better I would say the boys color coordinated, lol! A.J. is camera shy so it took some effort to get him to pose for me to take this photo of him.

I caught Jared and the dog lounging just the other day and could not resist!

I think this about has my guys all up to date. I did work on a lot of projects in 2011 and already into 2012. Some projects were started new while others are/were older projects I decided to try and put time into. I did so many that I am posting here so they may be out of order somewhat as to the timeline but trust me, these are what I worked on while not blogging. LOL!

This little doily simply named "Simple Doily" came from a free pattern I found online somewhere. It was an enjoyable small project and it now resides on a lamp table in my family room.

This large maroon doily is also another free design. You can find the pattern here: 
This is a very large piece and resides in the center of my dining room table.

This oddity in knitting is also from a free pattern called the Chullo Hat. If I ever finish it, there will be a tassel at the top that flips over to one side and ear flaps. I started it in 2011 for my great-niece and worked on it until I realized the hat would end up being far too large for her when finished so I am not sure that it will ever get completed.

I have had this baby "Bobbles Cardigan" pattern since, well since before I had Jared and he is 20 now, lol. I decided that I would knit a baby layette to keep on hand for last minute baby shower gifting. I am still working on the matching blanket, hat and booties. Below is the blanket in progress.

This yellow table runner is something I crocheted using size 5 crochet thread for a mother's day gift for my mother. It took me longer to make it and get it to her then I would have liked. She seemed to really love it though when she did receive it. I also made her this large yellow doily with the left over thread. I just barely had enough to finish it.

I decided to try my hand at going green and recycled our plastic grocery bags into something called "plarn" and used some of it to crochet into a tote bag. I found working with the plarn to be too harsh though on my shoulder and wrists. I am going to donate the remainder of my plarn balls to church. The ladies in church are working with plarn and crocheting it into mats for the homeless to place on the ground and put their bedding on.
I think this is a wonderful thing that they are doing!

While sorting through many of my older projects I found this small collection of maple leaf quilt blocks and quickly found myself arranging them into a wall hanging. This is one of the rare times that I actually did the actual quilting at my sewing machine to speed things along. Even though the seasons have changed and it is now spring, I still find myself keeping this wall hanging up on my living room wall. I just really enjoy the colors from it. Working on this quilt helped to get me motivated into completing the hand-applique work on this Hawaiian applique Sea turtles wall hanging.

I even began work on hand-quilting this turtle piece. I think it is now just over halfway finished on the quilting. My shoulder started to be an issue again so I had to put this piece away for a while but I bet I will have at it again in a few months or maybe even less. Below here is a closer photo for you to see my hand-quilting skills.

This pink doily was part of a crochet along in a yahoo group I am a member of. It was designed by a member of the group that calls herself "Cille." I made a slight change to the pattern on the very last edge round and changed the picots that were in the pattern to white pearl beads.

I purchased this pillowcase with the printed design on it years ago and was thinking about how I would like to get this out and work on it but wasn't quite sure exactly where it was. Well about a week after having that thought, Jared was digging around in the storage room and found it while looking for something else. I think I finished the embroidery work in about two days then I crocheted an edging for it. I think it came out quite nice. Now if I could only find the mate to it......

This next doily is quite a pleasure to look at. I found the design in a Thread Crochet magazine and the doily is titled "Posies on Parade." I worked the piece using size 20 Lizabeth brand crochet/tatting thread.

Last October I dug in my heels so to speak and learned how to tat with a shuttle. No, I am not talking about putting tattoos into people's skin, lol, I am talking about a very old form of lace making also known as knotting. It took me a while to get the knack of it but I am now doing a pretty fair job at it. I find it quite relaxing. This doily below is my first finished tatted doily which I just finished a few weeks ago from a free design I found at

I enjoy tatting so much that I decided to start a second blog and I am just going to talk about my tatting learning and adventures in it so if you want to follow along with me on that journey, be sure to visit the new blog.

Believe it or not, I almost have all the projects caught up here. Just a few more to post about, whew!

I have my cross-stitching mojo back! I actually managed to put in quite a few stitches on my 1899 wedding photo project. It is the piece I created by scanning my Schreiner great-grandparents 1899 wedding photo and importing it into PC Stitch to create a chart to work from. I just ordered the new version 10 of that software so looking forward to getting that and playing around with it when it gets here. :) Anyhow, here is the most recent progress. I am really loving how this piece is looking! It is being worked on pure linen in the photos original sepia tones.

And now for the very big surprise...........
after 15 long years......... drum roll....................................
I finally finished the "Fairy Idyll" piece!  See the before and after framing photos below.

I became so overjoyed for having finally completed the fairy that I became motivated to get another of my colorful unfinished cross-stitch pieces out and work on it. I have had this chart "Old Friends" since it was first published in 1990.

I am working the piece on 14 count aida that I hand dyed. I love it and find it to be very cheery.

I really had not been motivated to do any cross-stitching at all after having so many issues with my right shoulder but I think that enough time has gone by without stitching that it was able to heal better. I only got my stitching mojo back after attending the monthly ladies craft group at church and as I sat there working on my tatting, I was watching three friends working on their cross-stitching and thinking hmmmmm, that looks like just what I need to be doing too! They definitely inspired me and got my motor going again. I am having a ball at it and I am so loving walking past my living room sofa and seeing that finished fairy piece residing where I hoped to someday see her settled in. She really changes the entire feel of my living room. I love it!

Until next time my crafting friends. :)