Sweet Pea and Georgina

20190423_115536-1Today on my Youtube video, entitled, Sew Grateful, I shared a couple of finishes.  The idea of sharing them on this blog is to give a bit closer up photos of the projects.

Yes, I have crocheted baby blankets, however, never a big girl blanket.  Lucy at attic24 changed that.  https://attic24.typepad.com/

I will say, the final product is quite pleasing to the eye, the colors fall into the next.  My brain swirled & fell in love with the colors so passionately, I’ve since planted half a flower bed with sweet pea seeds.  Fingers crossed I will be bathed in Grace & colors & sweet scents in a couple months.  Until then, I can wrap the colors around me and dream.

Side note:  Good news, Mr. Right used it to take a nap and he said it works well.

 

Next project, The Georgina Thomson 1895 Sampler. She turned out beautiful and is now complete.  We will be taking to the framers this weekend.  Mr. Right’s grandmother is Georgina.  Listed in the Sampler is her home address where she grew up in Scotland, her name, her birth year, the initials of her 6 children and in the lower case letters, the initials of her 13 Grandchildren.

Finished scottish sampler

I began this piece on March 2, 2019, and completed today, April 26, 2019.  It was stitched on 28 count linen, the color called, White Chocolate.  I used overdyed threads.

Once framed, there will be a written family history explaining the family names, dates, places as well as the information regarding the linen and pattern…placed on the back of the piece.

I shared one other smaller scale project.  My lavender sachets.  I grew and dried the lavender.  Using up bits of leftover linen and thread, I stitch the sachets and add some beads and ribbon as adornment.  I give them as small tuck in gifts or add to a wrapped gift.  Some, I personalize with an initial.

The picture below is the window in my sewing room.  I use lavender as the “curtain”.

20160920_151104_resized_2lavender bundlesHere are some bits and pieces of my sachet making.

It was a pleasure to share my projects today.  Thanks so much for taking an interest in my hobbies.

I will leave you with some backyard spring flowers.

Happy Spring.

In this together, chat soon.

Daleen

hidden grace & goodness

One of the things about making a resolution to finish projects that have been hidden in the unfinished object basket is that you get to say hello to old “friends”.

20180130_102114-1_resizedHello, strange pink colored fabric that I have moved/touched (feeling a bit guilty) every single time I flip through my extra pieces of stitching fabric…..since 2005.  I ask you (as I said aloud to the dog), what was so vital in my life that I didn’t have time to complete 8 stitches and then sew together into a pin keep?  Yes, 8 stitches.    The good news, it didn’t take but a few stitches, a bit of sewing and a little charm.  All of a sudden, a bit of goodness to sit on a table.

20180130_094535-1_resizedHello, quilted wall hanging I began years ago to always remember my sister-in-law.  When I saw this pattern, it reminded me of the first time I had dinner on their farm.  They passed around a Polaroid picture of the chicken (one of 80,000) they raised, and all that went on that morning .…so that we could eat fresh chicken for dinner.  YIKES!  That was a first for this girl.   Janice got a good giggle out of that.  She was a creative & kind sister.  She always treated me so well.  She baked like I have never seen before.  She was the best example of a mom. She was the first person to ever tell us we were raising our boys well.  I will never forget her.  I don’t need to sew a quilt to remember.  It is just a nice piece to work on.  It affords me the time to remember so many bits of goodness about Janice.  I’m guessing that she would be belly laughing that I now have 5 chickens. 20180130_094542_resized

 

Oh, hello sweet thing.  That little coin purse hardware has sat on my sewing machine table for way too long.  I sat down one evening and in less than 2 hours had this adorable little bit of limey green goodness finished. 20180122_204630-1_resized_1

Three hidden projects brought out into the light of day and it is only January.  Every time I spy a completed item, it feels like I am bathing myself in grace & goodness.

I would love to hear what projects you are creating or finishing.  Maybe we can inspire each other?

“You can’t use up creativity.  The more you use, the more you have.” Maya Angelo

 

In this together friends,

Chat soon.

 

I spy, 30 threads per inch

I just got done writing a thank you note.  To my eye doctor.  Silly?  Not to me.

He listened and took me serious. I wanted to take a moment to be grateful.

A bit of background:  A fellow counted cross enthusist, told our group, that she took her stitchery with her to the eye doctor.  No, not to pass the time in the waiting room.  She took it to show her doctor what she actually does as a hobby.  She is thrilled with her new glasses.  The doctor told her……I have never seen cross stitch before,  those are tiny stitches.  So beautiful.  I can tell it makes you happy.  Let’s see what we can do to help you.

As much as I respect and like our eye doctor, let’s face it, he can’t possibly know every single hobby or work every single one of us enjoys.   Sure, sure the “get to know you” form asks if you work on the computer or have any hobbies.  It doesn’t really have the space to explain in detail what exactly you do.

So, I put on my big girl boots and worked up my courage and took a couple of samples of my work.

The staff and doctor put my fears at ease.

They each explained they have had people bring in their guns. They needed to show exactly what they need to focus on.   One patient brought in her knitting.  He has one patient who asked for multiple pairs of glasses and bought in his cards.  He is a poker player and wanted glasses just for that reason.

You see, I enjoy counted cross stitch.  The fancy light I use just wasn’t helping as much as it did 25 years ago.

To be more exact….  I stitch for at least 1 hour and 15 minutes a day.  I stitch on linen that has 30 threads to an inch.  I stitch over two threads at a time. 

I also do embroidery.  I also quilt and sew and mend and garden.  I bake and read and type on the computer.

So while I have oodles of hobbies, one in particular is extremely fine work.  I needed to show him what I do, so the perfect solution could be found.  He had me hold the actual fabric and stitch. During that time, he measured how far I hold it from my eyes and he made the notations.

Here we are a little over a week later.  I am ONE HAPPY STITCHING GIRL!!!!

While I am told, the glasses are cute, I am thrilled to be able to see well and stitch without being frustrated or my eyes becoming tired. My hobby is a pleasure again. 20160805_122200-1_resized

I wanted to share this idea with you.  I thought if you are having a dickens of a time crocheting a granny square or tying a fishing lure…..there is a solution out there.

Try and be brave (oh, believe me I know, it takes courage to show your work and explain its value) and take a sample of your work.  It is mighty important to you. When you take the steps to have the courage to show what you are proud of, as if by magic the professionals want to help find the perfect solution for you.

If you need me to go with you or send some good karma your way, speak up!  I will gladly hold your hand.  You will be so proud of yourself for sharing and asking for a little help.

In this together friends,

Happy Stitching, Happy Knitting, Happy Shootin’, Happy Poker playing!!

20160804_211432_resized_1PS.  I must give a 5 star shout out to the “Thread Heaven” product.  It is a fine product that helps condition your floss to lay down smoothly while working embroidery.  (If you already know about this fine product and have been using it for years…..this begs the question…..why didn’t you tell me about it?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

50 minutes of busy

Over and over and over, we have all heard it.  I am too busy to stitch or paint.  I am too busy to sew.  (Besides, it is cheaper to buy something.)   I am too busy to cook an amazing dinner for my family.  I am too busy to make an appetizer tray.  I am too busy to study and research.  

I work. Somehow meaning the rest of us don’t work?  Somehow by stating that one is “busy” trumps being creative and thoughtful? By exclaiming to the world, “I am busy” somehow excludes them from taking care of their families with nutritious food and choices? By shouting over and over, “I am too busy” they are somehow exempt from making a gracious gift or creating a work of art?   I just don’t have the time.  There are not enough hours in the day. 

In a weird twist of life (like one of those cool bright yellow playground slides……….that you KNOW you want to go down), saying the phrase, I am busy has become an acceptable excuse.

Shocking update: we all have full lives.  Yes, we all have families, friends, chores and jobs. We all have good days and stormy days.

If we expect our souls to dance, we must make time for that to happen.

I have a friend who is a school teacher.  The month prior to school beginning in the fall, she prepares her quilting project. She sets up the frame and has her latest amazing project ready to quilt.  She threads 24-36 needles.  She has music set up and ready to go.  She has her scissors sharpened.  She has her thimble nearby.  The scene is set.

Once home from a day of teaching, she washes her hands, pours a beverage, she sets dinner to cooking, she slips off her shoes, and she walks over to her quilting area and quilts for 30 minutes.  30 minutes of beautiful music and creating.  She does not waste any time preparing her project or threading a needle or looking for her scissors.  She just quilts.  It may not seem like much, but 30 minutes every day……….even though she is an English teacher, I am sure she can do the math. 2.5 hours a week X 4 weeks translates into 10 hours a month.  Yes, she has two children & a grand.  Yes, she cooks dinner for her and her family.  Yes, she volunteers & works full-time.

I have learned from some of the best examples.

Every single night, after supper, Mr. Right makes our juice .  From gathering the vegetables and fruits, to washing, juicing & then clean up………..it takes about 50 minutes.  Do I help?  No.  I am not invited into the kitchen.

20150615_210402I sit at the end of the kitchen, with my stitching light, my needle and thread.  I stitch 50 20150610_214248minutes a day.  Oh sure, sometimes, I find a moment in the day to put my feet up and sit in the warmth of the sunshine and stitch a bit.  Yes, some evenings, I get comfortable on the sofa and listen to a television show and stitch for an hour or two.  Sometimes, I quilt, other times I cross stitch, embroider or knit.

Most days, 50 minutes stitching a day, 350 minutes weekly, translates into  5.83 hours a week creating something of beauty.  Something that lifts my spirits and fills me with gratitude and happy.  I look back on the week and can see progress. I can see something tangible.  I can see time well spent.

My grandma (who by the way was an expert with her crocheting abilities produced hundreds of tablecloths, afghans, sweaters and scarfs, etc.), use to say, “idle hands are the Devil’s workshop”. This from the woman who had 5 kids, made bread 3 times a week, cooked three meals a day, grew a garden, canned everything, did all the laundry (no dryer, hung everything out to dry) and by the way, did I mention she was a widow who worked 5 days a week in the cannery?

20150617_073802-1With all of that said, here’s to BUSY folks everywhere!  So busy, they find time to create and nourish their souls.  So busy, yet such smarty pants, they KNOW the value of feeding their creative spirits.

Here is my counted cross stitch update.  Since my friend and I are stitching this project at the same time, the day and date are included in the pictures we share daily.

Today, I will put the final stitch of our initials on the piece.  I will be grateful, yet at the same time, planning and preparing the next project to work on.20150617_075220-1

How is your spirit?  How do you carve out time & nurture your soul?

1/2 price friendship

20150604_104445As all military wives do, I made a friend.

This story started 30 years ago, next month.

Our husbands were stationed at Fort Richardson, Alaska.

We each had a two boys, under the age of 3.  Our husbands were in the US Army.  We both lived in the same town house complex.  We were both stay at home moms.  We both had limited funds (I will circle back to this point).

That my friend, is more than enough in common for two people to become friends.

We traded watching kiddos once in a while.  We planned picnics and shared boys birthdays.  We traded recipes, we tossed around the idea of home schooling our children, exchanged Christmas ornaments and once in a while when the guys were home and the boys were asleep we would take a walk or a bike ride.

Once we planned an indoor “summer” picnic in the middle of winter in Alaska.  We got out the plastic pool, wore sundresses, sun glasses, turned up the heat and ate picnic food while the Beach Boys serenaded us. The boys wore shorts and t-shirts.  It was silly but I think it might have saved some of our sanity as those Alaskan winters can seem rather long and drawn out.

coffee and ice creamWhen the boys were tucked safely in for the evening, sometimes we would sit on the back porch steps and drink mugs of coffee with huge scoops of ice cream plopped in them.  Not sure who thought that up, but we would talk the evening away.

We were both interested in counted cross stitch.  Word was out, a new Counted Cross Stitch magazine was about to hit the shelves.  Jeepers, it was expensive!  I don’t remember the exact cost, however, I am making a guess of most likely $24.95 for a yearly subscription.  Too much for me to spend.  dang.

One of us came up with a remarkable idea.  Let’s each pay half and we would share the magazine!  Talked it over with the husbands and we were a go!!!!  As each issue arrived, we would  arrange to sit on the back step in the warmer months or in one of our kitchens and peruse the latest issue.  Then we would trade-off, every other month, who got to keep it at home for the first couple days.  We would sometimes decided to do the same chart/project.  Sometimes, we would each do a different one.  Once in a while, one of us would take the magazine to the library and have a copy made of a pattern we both wanted to work on at the same time.  It cost 25 cents per copy.  ouch.

Fast forward to 2015.

Best guess, close to a gazillion gallons of water has passed under the bridge.  We are indeed still friends.  We both have much more in common these days.  These days, while we live in different states, we text and trade pictures of our grandchildren almost daily.  We still share recipes.  We have shared the good and pretty ugly of 30 years of living.  We still talk about husbands, adult kiddos, world problems, religion and yes we both still cross stitch.

We knew we had to acknowledge and make a point of celebrating 30 years of friendship.  Each of us wanted to make something to show our boys.  Instead of talking about being grateful for friends, we wanted something tangible to show while we shared some of the stories. 20150604_104938

We decided we would choose and purchase a cross stitch pattern to do together.   We would begin stitching on the same day.  We may slip in our initials or a twist of some kind. Share snippets of our progress. Finish our projects, have them framed and mail them to each other.  We have placed a deadline of the end of August, because we want to celebrate our friendship during these summer months.

Enter technology.  With mugs of coffee in our hands (no ice cream this time around) we sat at our separate computers, states apart.  For the last month or so, we have each been looking for “our” pattern. We each submitted suggestions via email.  We each gently but politely vetoed one after another.   It was taking a LOT longer than the olden days.  We had thousands upon thousands of patterns to sift through as opposed to the 12 or 15 per magazine issue.

The moment we found “our” pattern.  We both knew it.

So, it was with a thrill that we placed our order.  Yes, we agreed to each pay 1/2 the cost of the pattern. (told you I would get back to the money “thing”)

Yesterday, I received the pattern in the mail.

Technology strikes again.  I was able to make one copy from the printer in my home.

20150604_104513I mailed the pattern, thread and fabric this morning.

I made a “girl scout” promise (even though I LOATHED the girl scouts, another story for another blog post) that I would not begin one single stitch until she sent me a text saying that she received her share of supplies.

To be honest, I had to put my supplies away.  My fingers are itching to begin.   Just looking at that color drenched linen, the gorgeous hand dyed thread………..let me at ’em!

Sort of can’t believe it has been 30 years.  I think I can wait another couple of days to begin our celebration.

I promise to keep you in the loop.  I will share updates as the pattern begins to take shape. I thought it might be fun to have you tag along with this happy summer project.

I would love to hear how you celebrate friendship.

friendship

1984

Oh yes, I adore putting in that very final, last stitch on a project.  However, the thrill of a new pattern almost makes me giddy.  I adore lining up all the new threads.  Choosing the perfect linen.  This time, I have chosen 32 count, Belfast Linen, color Platinum.  I have decided on my latest counted cross stitch sampler.

I adore samplers.  I am not sure if it is the order of things or the simple and straightforward design.  I love the “hunt” of finding my next project.  I just took a moment and counted 14 samplers in my home right now.  20141107_084507

In some samplers, I have stitched the date I finished.  The last one I completed, I stitched the year I started.  I have been known to stitch one of my family’s birth date’s as the sampler date.  I was daydreaming about who might want one of these some day.  I was thinking if someone saw his or her birth date or year they would “know” it was meant for them.

20141125_105403You can see in the counted cross stitch project (with the red heart) the date June 14.  That is the birthday of one of our boys.

For some silly reason, when I saw the pattern of the next piece, I already decided that instead of 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,0  I was going to stitch 1,2,8,4,5,6…….It sort of tickled me to have a “secret” 84 in the line up.  One of our daughter in law’s was born in 1984.  She adores trees.  She is a kind girl.  I love the title, “Be Kind & Be True”.  This might be the one, that has “her name written all over it”. 2011-08-05 Be Kind & Be True framed

I love to have a project ready, edges finished.  I love to have a couple of needles threaded.  My basket is sitting right near my stitching lamp.  I like to pick up the linen some nights and stitch for 10 minutes.  Other nights 2 hours doesn’t seem long enough.

I find joy in the doing.  Yes, for some reason, I love the accomplished feeling I get from looking at projects that take 50, sometimes 80 hours.  Ten minutes here and there.  One hour on a Thursday afternoon.  One or two stitches then the phone rings.  Bit by bit, a master piece is created.

Stitching helps me.  Stitching is happy.  Stitching samplers helps me remember wellness and health are achieved bit by bit.  Day by day.

It’s all about the journey.