Sunday, February 21, 2021

Small things...

 'Twas mostly a quiet, if busy, week at home due to the deep freeze many of us in the U.S. have experienced for a week now.  When I turned to crafting it was small things that caught my attention.

I decided to finish a snowflake I started back in early December.  It was one of the few advent crafts I did - remember that grand plan?  And while I had the crochet thread out, I decided to make a second snowflake by the same designer:

The Frostvale and Wispweave snowflakes are beautiful, if stunningly challenging (to me, anyway) on the last round.

And, actually, I think I also made the following two snowflakes in December, but I just recently blocked them:

And, as often happens when I start crocheting with thread, my fingers just want more of it, so I looked through my 99 Little Doilies book and decided to make Doily #8 for the second time.
I gave away the first one, and I was missing it.

It's kind of crazy how much I want to make another doily.  Doilies can be addictive.  Until I make a really hard one.  Then I don't want to make another for a very long time.

And lastly, I finished Tag #7 for the 52 Tags Challenge:
The theme for this tag was "Hexis"

These cute little Hexis were made by starting with a circle and folding it and ironing it.  If you're at all curious, the video I followed is here.

And that's pretty much it!   This week will probably see my brother's house being listed for sale.   And then we wait...  hopefully, not too long.  I've already received one cash offer (it was too low), and am told there are two agents interested in showing it already, so we'll see!

Still lots to do on the homefront.  And the legal front.  And just keeping up with things.  

With the temps warming up a bit, I'm hoping I can motivate myself to get into a walking routine.  All that snow covering our yard will hopefully be gone by mid-week, and the piles maybe by next week.  It will be fun to see it go!

Sunday, February 14, 2021

52 Tags Challenge continues...

Winter has finally set in to central Indiana - like it has in most of the eastern part of the US, it seems.  While it has had the effect of slowing me down, fortunately it doesn't appear that it will be sticking around longer than through this upcoming week.

Last week started off with some work being done at my brother's house, and me dealing with an eye infection.  Ugh.  It's the third eye infection I've had since October.  The first two cleared up pretty quickly within a few days by simply using hot compresses.  This time, though, I needed some help.  After several days of antibiotics, it's still there, but it feels much better.  Not quite as scary red and swollen.  

The reason I'm sharing this is in case it benefits anyone else.  The eye doctor said they've seen a lot more eye infections this year and they are wondering if mask wearing is contributing to it after all.   The fact that I didn't even see a doctor for the first two infections I had, I have to believe many infections clear up without ever being noted.  In other words, if doctors are seeing more eye infections in the office, there are even more likely going unreported.

Honestly...  listening to my doctor and doing some research about it, it now seems ludicrous to think masks couldn't be a factor to an increase in skin and eye infections (as some articles I encountered still suggest).  My husband also had a skin infection just under one of his eyes several months ago. I don't know if he was told his was staph, but he was treated for it and it took weeks to clear up.  

My point isn't to not wear a face mask.  I'm not there - yet.  If you have dry eyes and/or experienced eye infections since wearing masks, I suggest reading up on the problem, as it's multifaceted.  No one is suggesting that face masks directly cause eye infections.  Conversely, articles that dismiss the problem by stating "face makes don't cause eye infections" are misleading and don't get to the point or deal with the problem.  And worse, articles that simply call such claims false are written by lazy writers who do a disservice to people looking for real information. 

For me, a person with dry eye syndrome... this means, in addition to continuing to be fastidious about washing my hands and wearing fresh masks when one is called for, it may serve me well to take some extra precautions because those pesky sluggish oil glands in the eyelids (which is one cause of dry eyes) are more susceptible to infection.   I bought me a Bruder (eye) Mask to make warm compresses easier to do - hot, wet washcloths helped when I took the time to fiddle with them, but a mask that stays put and holds its heat longer makes it all much less tedious.   Bottom line:  take care of and pay attention to your eyes.  Dry eyes are more susceptible to infections.  If they're feeling dryer than normal, it could be more than just the dry winter air that's affecting them.  Regardless, it's wise to address the problem of dry eyes - not only for comfort's sake, but for the health of your eyes.


And with that PSA finished, now I'm on to what usually brings me in here on Sunday afternoons - my Year of Projects post.  After the busyness and not feeling so good the first half of last week, I found myself finally inspired on Friday to work on two more tags in the #52tagshannemade challenge.

The theme of Tag #5 is "Kisses"
Can you figure out how the theme "kisses:" is played out above?

And the 6th tag's theme is "Bevy of Buttons"
I think this one is self-explanatory.

If you're interested in Anne's Brooke's 52 Tags challenge, you can see her tags and videos here!

And that, dear reader, is all she wrote!

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Making Space...

It's been nearly two months since I've had a Making Space post.  To be honest, I don't really have a lot of motivation for this right now, but I figured climbing back into the saddle might nudge me in the right direction.  

Recently our youngest son came for a visit and while he was here he mentioned how his scraggly hair was starting to bother him.  I haven't cut anyone's (but my own) hair in years so it didn't dawn on me to offer to cut it - until a few minutes later he asked if I could just trim around his ears.   Happy to be of service, I offered to cut it all, really not thinking he'd take me up on it.  But he jumped at the opportunity.

Since our sons were little, I had the habit of cutting all the guys' hair every 6 weeks or so - until some time in high school when each one started to want something more interesting than I could provide.  While I was happy enough to delegate this job to a salon one-by-one, and to eventually not have the mess for maybe 7 or 8 years now, it was actually fun to cut my son's hair again.  At least this once.  And it wasn't half bad if I do say so myself.  When I started, I told him he might want to sound apologetic about his COVID hair cut when he gets himself back to a hair stylist.  But by the time I was done I was kind of impressed and hoped he'd actually proudly proclaim that his Mom had done the deed.  😄

Anyway...  wishing now I had a picture of his shorn head, as that would be more interesting than my photo below, it was when we were in the tiled bathroom, and I had the clippers and all the clipper pieces out (of which I had a whole extra set - from a previous hair clipper system), I decided I needed to do a final clearing out of this bathroom once I was done hair cutting.  

So the drawers got completely emptied, and a bunch of lose little stuff got pitched while other stuff ended up in a donate (or recycle) box.  Then I looked deep into a large bathroom cabinet where I store out-of-season table linens, and in just a few minutes I came up with a nice little haul:

came up with three table cloths, a candle dish, a snowflake ornament, a lidded glass jar, a toothpick holder (that was pulled out of a kitchen cabinet), 2 traveling soap carriers, a side-burn trimmer, an old battery operated razor, and a razor case.  Counting an old plastic hair trimmer case with a bunch of extra hair cutting guides as one item, and not counting the unphotogenic stuff that got thrown away as I went,  I have 13 items leaving the house. 

Week 15:  (141 ) things gone

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Sampler progress...

This week was another busy week in which I'm choosing to focus on what was good - even with its challenges.  Perhaps the best thing was seeing a little crafting time in the evenings - mostly cross stitching and knitting dishcloths.  It may not seem significant, but I'm happy to report that I finished Part 4 of the 2020 Mystery SAL hosted by Linen & Threads.

This first picture is where I left off on this design in December:

And this is what it looks like today:

I'm really hoping this is the largest single design on this sampler.  It was quite a job to finish it. 

And that's it craft-wise for me.  I actually found a little time this week to declutter and even wrote a Making Space post, but I couldn't find time to take a picture and post it.  The upcoming week is forecasted to be a bit snowy and then bitter, so hopefully I'll find myself at home with more time to pop in and record some progress on the decluttering front.

I hope you all have a great week ahead.  Even though wintry weather looks to be ahead here in Indiana, I'm focusing on spring being not too far behind it. 😎

Sunday, January 31, 2021

One step forward...

One step forward, two steps back, then maybe three steps forward...  Sparing you the details, that's what my life is at the moment.  The movement of settling an estate is always forward (there is no stopping or truly going backwards - at least not in my case), but unexpected things make it seem slower than it should really need to be.  That said, the week ended well, and resulted in moving into a new phase in the process - a phase where unknowns may lurk, but still I press forward.

And now, on to more enjoyable things...

Today's offering in my weekly Year Of Projects update is a simple tag.  The #52Tags challenge host made the theme of Week 4's tag the Fly Stitch.  I'd never encountered this stitch before, so I made my stitches the way the challenge host made hers. It was only when looking for a link to a tutorial for just this stitch did I realize that the designer (and I) made our fly stitches upside down.  

To be clear, I knew we were making them upside down (from the way we'd want them to appear when the tag was finished), but I didn't realize upside down isn't the typical way to make this stitch.   The host of the challenge is left-handed, so I wonder if that is why she stitches it the way she does.  Regardless, lesson learned...  I may want to seek out a separate tutorial for a new-to-me embroidery stitch when making future tags.  Here's the hostess's video for this challenge.  And here is a different video that is a tutorial for just making the Fly Stitch.   

All that aside, I did enjoy making the fly stitch, even upside down.  😅  It's a bit of a mesmerizing stitch.  The first sample I made (just below) was way overdone, but it was well worth having done it for what I learned - that, and it was just enjoyable to stitch:

While what I did above created a too-dense design that doesn't make a lot of sense to look at, I enjoyed meandering around the piece and crossing over earlier sections to create some depth to the "picture"  To be sure, there is a time and place for doing this, but I clearly need to learn some control.  😉

In my second attempt I didn't cross over previously laid stitches, but I did still enjoy meandering a bit and joining sections together.  I also enjoyed working with a variegated thread that had completely different colors in it - as opposed to the more subtly variegated threads above.

And since I haven't shown what the backs look like, here's a picture that shows more or less what the back sides of my tags will all look like:

Some people are writing short notes on the backs of theirs.  I'm just keeping mine plain - for now, anyway.  

And that's a wrap for this week!  

Even with several snows, we're continuing to have an exceptionally mild winter here - for which I am truly grateful.   How are things in your corner of the world?

The view down the street from my front door