Monday, December 29, 2014

Finishing up!

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday!
I remember being young and it seemed to take forEVER for Christmas to arrive.
And I remember hearing adults mutter how time goes so much faster when you're older.
You've heard that, right?
Well, turns out they were RIGHT!
EGADS!
Christmas came and went REALLY quickly this year!
Was it fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas?
Maybe.  Yes.  Maybe that was it!
But I didn't feel like I had lots of time to decorate, 
and bake,
and enjoy cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies!

And now here we are less than 51 hours (at press time) from 
a brand new YEAR!
 That means I am in a creative frenzy
trying to finish up as many WIPs as I can!
Regardless of medium!
Knitting WIPS!?  Let's get 'em done!

 Yesterday I got this off the needles!
It's the Honey Cowl.  And a complete indulgence in 100% cashmere.
I did the longer version and cast on 240 stitches.
You can find details here!

Next, I've got my eye on these...


Just plain vanilla socks. 
Lollipop Yarns Beefcake Base in colorway Best Friend.
I've got one done!  And am on the foot of the second!
I really want these off the needles before the ball drops!

 Quilting WIPS?  Only one!
 

All the blocks are done and the setting squares have been cut.
I just need to sew this together!  
Should be 70 x 70 when it's done.
I'm pretty sure I can get this done too!

 
Stitching WIPS?  Probably not going to finish any in 50 hrs and 55 minutes.
But I will try to work on SOMETHING!

Or I might try and squeak another knitting finish in!

Time's a wasting!
Are you in a finishing up mood?
Wanna join me?
Let me know!  We can cheer each other on!

*Peace!


Friday, December 26, 2014

All Is Calm...All Is Bright!







Operation Tradition Restored was a success!
We had a wonderfully blessed Christmas 
and I hope you did, as well!

*Peace!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Tradition & The Nest


I've been thinking alot lately about Tradition.  The definition is clear.
It's time-honored.
It's established.
It's a customary pattern.
 No where in that definition does it say
"IF you move, and WHEN your nest is empty, Tradition ends."

No where.

I don't think I am alone when I say I believe Tradition is prevalent this time of year
especially!


 Last year was our first Christmas alone.
In our new home.
In a different state than all of our kids.
And we were somewhat lost.

You see, our family's Christmas traditions are simple.
Christmas Eve is filled with Christmas lights, some form of oysters,
candlelight, Silent Night (which always ALWAYS makes me cry), and egg nog 
in goblets with Christmas Trees on them.
A Christmas Story is on a continuous loop...
and
Christmas Day....
orange rolls fresh from the oven,
gifts,
then...
for 20 of the last 22 years,
our family, and the hub's extended family, goes bowling
on Christmas Day,
then we come home and enjoy a feast of prime rib and naps.
Yes...I did say bowling.  
I know, I know...when I first came into the clan,
I thought it was a bit odd to go bowling on Christmas Day.  
Mainly because I grew up in a very small town and NOTHING was even OPEN on Christmas Day!  Especially the bowling alley!
But....


it's TRADITION!  
So it's what we do.
And the kids LOVED it each and every year.
I say 20 out of 22, 
because one year we were actually snowed in and unable to even travel 
within the city to the bowling alley!
And then last year...
we were out of our realm,
out of our norm,
alone,
with an empty nest and a weird Christmas.

So we didn't really do any of our traditional things.
And we were lost.

So I've been thinking alot about past Christmases
and trying not to be sad that we have an empty nest at Christmas.
I've decided that we MUST...

We HAVE to....

carry on the TRADITIONS!
We just have to.
Period.
It's not up for discussion.
It's who we ARE!

It's why Christmas was so weird last year!


This year.
Without a doubt, there will be 
Christmas lights,
some form of oysters,
candlelight,
Silent Night,
a tear or two streaming,
eggnog in the Christmas Tree goblets,
A Christmas Story on continuous loop,
orange rolls on Christmas morning,
gifts opened,
Facetime with all of the kids and their families,
in three different time zones,
and we will go bowling.

The hubs and I will go bowling.

And then we will come home and
feast on Prime Rib
and take a nap.

And all will be right in our world again.
And we will hope the kids are doing some form of our traditions
themselves!!
At the very least, my hope is that they will also draw some
comfort knowing that 
mom and dad are still doing all of the things
they are used to us doing for 
Christmas!

After all...
it's Tradition!
And it doesn't end when the nest is empty!
Right?

What traditions do you have?
I'd love to know!

*Peace!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

A Long Holiday Weekend Filled With Thankfulness













I hope you've had the chance to enjoy a wonderful
long holiday weekend, like we have!

It was filled with 
Family (Jake drove down for Thanksgiving!)
Food (always too much!)
Football (We won't discuss the Cowboys, but hey...O-H!!!  Buckeyes Rocked!)
Fabulous Weather (the reason I had to get back to Texas!)
and today I even had some time in the sewing room,
with my four legged children keeping me company!

So much to be thankful for!

*Peace!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Snug

Well, it finally happened!  Much to Miss Pia's dismay, the pile of sweater pieces that she likes to lounge on and under has dissipated a bit!  


Doesn't she look all snug there, under the woolly goodness that's been taking up residence on my cutting table?  I don't know why I put up a mental barricade when it comes to seaming up these sweaters!  Well, enough was enough and the other day I purchased a great class on Craftsy by Anne Hanson.  It was specific to finishing and seaming hand knits!  I watched it.  Well...parts of it.  Then decided to just dive in and tackle this!  You may remember I had the pieces of the Long Sands Cardigan off the needles waaaaaay back in March.  MARCH!!  Good grief.  Turns out my fear of seaming was unfounded!

The Craftsy class was very helpful, as this sweater has both vertical and horizontal seaming that had to be done, but it went well and was soaked and blocked in short order!  Thanks to Anne, I found some seaming confidence.  Finally!

 I love this sweater!  I will knit another for certain!  I don't think I was very aggressive with the blocking, as it does seem a little snug in the upper arms and I'm used to really hiding in my cardigans,
but this one is more close fitting.  Hmmm...maybe I need to be more aggressive with exercising!  There's an idea!

 But the yarn was great to work with.  In case you don't recall, it was Cascade Eco Wool.  And this thing flew off the needles!  It really knit up quickly, so it's just a shame that it sat for so long.

 Actually, it sat thru a Texas summer, so it's not like it would have seen any wear, but still!  STILL!  Procrastination abounds!  But it's done now.  We've got a cold snap arriving this week.....so I'll be all snug now when I wear this!

 I've left the Hayward pieces there for Miss Pia to snuggle in for a bit.  I may get that one put together soon too!  There's hope for me yet!

*Peace!



Sunday, November 09, 2014

Faux Pas and a Finish

Thanks so much for the compliments and comments
on my wool applique project!
I thought that this was a Maggie Bonanomi pattern,
and need to clear that up and make sure you know it is not!
It's a pattern by the talented Lyn Hosford!
DOH!  
I noticed that as I was leafing through the Need'l Love book the other evening!
My next wool applique IS a Maggie Bonanomi pattern, though!

While that wool project whipped up rather quickly,
my newest finish was not so quick!


FINALLY!  Her Sampler 1796 is finished!
 

When the girls over at Blackbird Designs announced this Stitch Along
it looked like it would be a quick stitch!  Just grab some threads
and a piece of leftover linen, and walaaaah!  a new little sampler is born!
ha!
It was not quick!  Or maybe it would have been if I would have just focused
and stitched on her!
I took a few liberties.....did regular cross stitch on the band that called for
four sided stitch.  Because, well, I'm sure you understand when I say after enduring aLOT
of four sided stitch in that alphabet, it was clear that said four sided stitch
is not something that will hold my attention, and this may never have gotten finished!

 and I also opted for the 8 spoke Algerian Eyelet
for all eyelet stitches!  So I cut my time in HALF on that...right?
haha!
I also couldn't bring myself to stitch a heart (I know....I don't know WHY I have an aversion to hearts, other than to say I also cringe when I see blue, mauve and geese!)
So I added my initials in that spot.

Under the steam iron it went, and it's in the "Kim, You Really Need To Find A Framer" pile!

I really do need to find a framer down here!

*Peace!

Friday, November 07, 2014

I Prefer Destiny!

I finished 
my Christmas wool project 
rather quickly!





I'm pretty sure wool applique has skyrocketed
to the top of my 'enjoyable experience' list!
 

So satisfying to get something done in short order!
I did all the handwork on this during football games on Sunday!

Then I hit up my collection of black thrifted frames!
 

and wouldn't you know it!
 There was one that was the PERFECT fit
for the size of this piece!!

A happy accident?
or destiny?
I prefer destiny!


This one will be put away until after Thanksgiving!
Quite pleased and already planning
the next Maggie Bonanomi wool applique project!

Happy Friday!

*Peace!

Monday, November 03, 2014

Just In Time!

I finished my son's Sockhead hat last weekend,
and boxed up the trio of hats for my Nebraska family early last week!

They arrived just in time!
It's snowing today in Western Nebraska!
L to R: Sockhead Hat (Lornas Laces Multi Sock in Camouflage), Capucine (Noro Kureyon held double), and Thorpe Hat (Noro Kureyon).  All patterns are free patterns!  


This picture warms my heart and I hope the hats warm their heads!

Lucky for me there is NO snow here in North Texas!
Today its a sunny but windy day...temps in the low 70s!

Tomorrow is another story!  

Happy Monday!

*Peace!

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Retreating

Last weekend I was 
getting my stitch on with my pals,
 Lori, Becca & Shelly.
I left the weekend with a few more 
new stitchy friends!

They're the best...those stitchy kind of friends!

 Three late, late, nights.
And three late mornings!


There was laughter
and lots of stitches!
I worked between the Kathy Barrick Adam & Eve,
and the Blackbird Designs free sampler, Her Sampler 1796.
 

 I ended up focusing on the smaller
Adam & Eve!

Kathy Barrick Adam & Eve, Mystery Lakeside Linen 36 ct with my own DMC conversion, 2 over 2
 I came home with a finish!


 This was my second time attending this retreat.
It's always so nice to be among fellow stitchers!
My friend, Lori, is involved in organizing this with the shop that puts on the retreat.
She graciously invited me to attend again this fall,
and I ponied the money right up!
Signed up, paid for my spot,
and off I went!
This is an open stitch retreat.
No set projects.
The shop is situated about 70 miles from me,
so not one that I have ever visited.
And with the stash factor,
not one I NEED to visit!  haha!

While I met many lovely stitchers and enjoyed seeing their projects
and chatting,
the weekend was dampered a bit by a comment made to me
right away by the sister of the shop owner.
She came up to me early Friday morning,
 and flatly asked if I have ever even BEEN to the shop.
She then made it clear that the retreat was for "customers" of the shop,
and that I should (ahem) make an EFFORT
to go to the shop and support the shop.
I was definitely caught off guard by the tone!
I mean, 
I was invited!  I signed up a while ago!  I paid to attend!
I nicely tried to explain that if I lived closer,
and had the need,
I would happily darken the door of the shop.
But she wasn't listening.
I'm thinking the pursed lips, or perhaps the angle of her head 
must have been blocking her cochlea!
LOL
Now I'm kidding of course,
but I was definitely taken aback by the comment,
as were those at the table who overheard this woman.
Needless to say I was a bit embarrassed,
and felt like a big ol' party crasher!

 After this incident,
the stubborn stitcher in me, who had planned to shop the pop up shop that
was set up at the retreat, for things I most certainly didn't even NEED,
decided not to dole out any more of my hard earned money over the weekend.
I know, I know...that's stubborn of me. 
But darnit, I felt like I was really being TOLD to shop, 
and I don't like being told what to do!
It's a symptom of perimenopause,
I'm quite sure!

Lucky for me most of the stitchers there were
lovely, kind, friendly people who 
made it clear to me that I was, indeed, welcome there,
and they were also a bit stunned by the whole scene,
and embarrassed for their LNS.

Regardless,
I stitched, and laughed, and made new friends,
and enjoyed the time spent
doing all of those things!

So it was a win anyway!

I did receive a note earlier this week from this woman,
apologizing and saying she did not 'mean' to offend.
But the message was clear to all of those who heard it.
 
I realize LNS success depends on customers!
I get it!
I just felt completely singled out as the 'new girl'
by this woman, and,
well,
that's an uncomfortable position to be in!

I may be retreating from this particular retreat for a while,
and instead planning a very long, pressure-free
stitching retreat weekend with stitchy friends!
I honestly don't see me having the need or urge to make the trip
to this shop 70 miles away,
so don't want to feel like I'm taking up a spot
that one of their "regulars" might want to fill.
 
Luckily, most of these lovely new stitcher friends
also are members of local guilds, 
so our paths will cross at places other than this particular retreat.

Have you attended stitching retreats?
How did you find out about them?
What was your experience?
Is it just a rule that some sort of snarky drama occurs when there is
a large gathering of women?
I'm hoping this is just an isolated incident
and you will all sing the praises of other stitching retreats!

I'm holding out hope!

*Peace!




Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thrifty Thursday!

Aaaaah!
Those
Two
Words!!

Thrifty Thursday!

Yesssss!!

You may recall that I was heading out last week Thursday
for a stitching retreat out of town!
And I realized they had a G'Willy's!
And I was ever so hopeful!

Well,
I actually found a few things!!

WHAT!?!?
So excited!!


I had the luxury of time!
And I took advantage and strolled through the aisles...
twice!
 

I found this great creamy white shell dish!
 

Three bucks!
I think it will be wonderful on the coffee table,
atop some books, 
holding the remote, etc!
It's rather large and I love it!

And because I'm a sucker for little plates
and blue...
 
 this small plate caught my eye.
Loved the geometric!

And this one....


because it's transferware!
These are both small...just a smidge over 4" across.
These were 50 cents each!

So much pleasure from less than five bucks!
I may or may not have started singing
on the way to my vehicle!

"I'm back.......I'm back in the saddle again....

I'm back!"

*Peace!