Sunday, May 2, 2021

I've got plans...

Except for crocheting some on what will be my son's ripple blanket, and a little dishcloth knitting, I didn't do much crafting this week.  In fact, I contemplating skipping making a YOP post today because I had nothing to show, but then it occurred to me...  I have plans.  Why not write about that?!?

But first the inspiration behind my plan.  With time on my hands this week, I found myself perusing Youtube (when I probably should have been getting something done, but nevermind that).  I came upon a delightful woman in Germany, named Silvia.  Her Youtube channel is beckisland.  It appears she hasn't posted in about eight months,  but I found myself completely charmed by her and her lovely small cross stich pillows.  I was so inspired, I decided to pull out all my small stitches, and go through my fabric stash to see what I could pull together to possibly finish some small pillows.  

First off, the stitches I have that are waiting for some love:

After I took stock of my non-FFO'd cross stitches, I opened up the containers that have all the fabric I brought home from MIL's last summer and found some nice materials that I think will work for finishing the above into pillows.

First up is a stitch I did many, many (I'm sure close to 40) years ago and for some time, it was in a very ornate oval frame (oh boy...  thinking this might have been a Creative Circle kit, I looked it up, and indeed it was!  Check it out here if you like.) While I displayed it years ago (in the ornate frame), for way too long it was stuck in storage - probably in the garage.  I think it was a couple of years ago that I rescued it from obscurity and now I think I will make a medium size pillow out of it.  

While the colors in the fabric above are perfect, I'm having second thoughts about using it to make a pillow (with this stitch). For this stitch, I want to make it into a larger pillow (like something that might sit in a chair), and I want a significant amount of a print fabric to show on the front of the pillow.  I may have to actually buy some fabric to fit this project. But that's okay...  I have enough projects below to keep me busy while I find a more perfect fabric for this one. 

Meanwhile, check out the back and the snazzy way I stitched it up to be taut for framing:

I think I've found fabrics that will work with the various other projects.  Tell me what do you think:
If I still have this color thread in my stash, I think I'm going to add some stitching to some of the stars.  A couple of them seem a little stark to me.

Seeing the picture above, I may swap this fabric out for something else.

I think I made these "quilt stars" in the 80's.  My MIL was a quilter, and I seem to recall that I originally made an ornament of at least one of these stitches for her and then I got hooked on them for a while.  I know I have several as ornaments in our Christmas decorations.  I think I even sold some when a friend and I did a couple of craft shows together way back then.  I don't know why I never put these last ones together.  If I remember correctly this was a free pattern in some ladies' magazine back then.  Woman's Day, maybe?

This one (above) I haven't decided between the flowers or the polka dots.  The red in the polka dot fabric is exactly the same as the strawberries.  But the little white flowers in the other fabric remind me a bit of the flowers on a strawberry plant.  I suspect either will look great, but I'm curious if you have an opinion.  On this one, I plan to have some of the print fabric on the front, with the same fabric making up the back of the little pillow.

The patterns above came from a vintage Just Cross Stitching magazine.  I believe the animal ones are from Prairie Schooler, but house is from another designer.  For my purposes, I think they all go together perfectly.

And some may remember the stitch above from last autumn.  I finished it after October, I'm guessing, and wasn't overly motivated at the time to fully finish it for display at that point.  Well, now I am.

And there are two little candlewicking ornaments I stitched up - over 30 years ago, I'm sure.  Those need to be finally finished and put with Christmas/winter decorations.   

One of the things I really love about Silvia's little pillows is the simple ways she finishes most of them.  I like a simple finish, I've concluded.  Silvia shows that even the most simple finish can be lovely.  She does like to add fabric to the front and some ric rac or ribbon trim to some, and I do like that, so I headed over the local Hobby Lobby yesterday afternoon to see what they might have.  Boy, did I have good timing.  I hit the mother lode!  Spooled ric rack and ribbons were 50% off!  So I got bunches.  For the price, I decided to get all of the colors of ric rac and a few special ribbons, and figure out later how I might use it.

I have two thoughts as I look at the above ribbons and trims:  I have just derailed my plan to continue downsizing my stuff!  And... Why did I not buy MORE?!?!?  Seriously now...  look at those colors.  How could I resist?

And that, dear reader, is all I've got. 
Just plans for some fun finishes.  

Sunday, April 25, 2021

A little finish...

Wednesday of last week I wrote an update about what's been going on in my little corner of the world. There was lots of Spring evident, a couple of birthdays celebrated, a sister visited, and my brother's house sold!  All very good things.

And then, yesterday I set myself to finishing this little project:

The May pattern of the Joyful World series

Using a fabric in my stash (that once was in my MIL's fabric stash), I made this cute little stitch into a pillow.    Now I just need a few dozen more little pillows and I'll have a display-worthy collection.  At the rate I stitch, I may have that collection done by say...  the end of the decade.  😄

This next little bit is for my reference mainly, but if you're interested in the materials used, read on.  I used a combination of called-for Gentle Arts Sampler Threads, and DMC floss. The cats are stitched using various shades of DMC grays, and I turned what was originally a white bird (a dove, maybe?) into a bluebird.  Fabric for the stitched part is 18-count Aida from Picture This Plus - in the colorway, Sterling.  Stitched 2 over 1 on 18-count Aida, the design measures 5.25" x 4".  Just right for a small pillow.

And that's pretty much all I've got on this beautiful late-April Sunday afternoon!  

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

What a week!

It's been quite a WEEK! 

First off, spring was on full display.  Weather was in the 50's & 60's and I was in my weather-heaven.

Tuesday oldest son turned 32 and Wednesday we celebrated with him and his youngest brother (they share an apartment) with take-out Bronzini Pizza and garlic knots.  Yummy stuff!  And a few rounds of the game, Medium.  How do I have no photos of any of this?

After driving a couple thousand miles over three days, artist sister also arrived in the area on Wednesday.  

Sister is in front, I'm in back.

On Thursday my brother's house went from:


We arrived in town a few minutes prior to the scheduled closing and walked around the property one last time.  Before we left, the listing agent stopped by and changed the sign to read SOLD.  That was handy!

At the closing we met the buyer of my brother's house.  He's a young man (mid-thirties) with a vision for updating older houses in lower income neighborhoods.  It was interesting to hear his plans for the little bungalow my brother had lived in for over 30 years. 

Afterwards, sister and hubs & I had lunch and then sister and I drove around our hometown (and sometimes walked) for a while looking for houses that were familiar (of friends and family from our childhood).  Driving through a neighborhood that once housed our Jr. High School, we were delighted to see an old soda fountain/diner from our youth still intact.  Well, not the soda fountain, but the building.  While it looked just like it did in the 60's and 70's,  It had most recently been used as an election headquarters (for either Greg Pence, or Trump and Mike Pence).  We had to stop for pictures when we spotted a cardboard Trump in the window:

We laughed so hard, I imagine the neighbors thought we were nuts.  
But it sure was fun just being silly.

Later in the evening, we came back to our house where we looked through some of our brother's things.  Some items my sister would take back with her, some items were in the category of memorabilia and personal notes created by, or relating to our brother.  It was good to have company sifting through the later things.


Friday I realized I had forgotten to hand over the keys to my brother's house at the closing, so that meant another trip to Columbus to hand deliver them to the buyer.  My sister joined me and we became determined to find a building where our aunt used to have a Bible bookstore in the 60's.  We think we found it.  Her shop may have possibly been in the same space (or in the next store down from) where there is now a sweet little yarn shop:

We approached the store just as the owner was getting ready to lock up, but when we explained what we were looking for, she invited us in to see if it looked familiar.  I can't believe I didn't take any pictures of the inside, but then again, I didn't want to presume to hang around too long.  This will be a fun place to revisit soon, though.


Saturday, we met a niece and her sweet family to pass along some items of my brother's.  We had lunch at Zaharako's, an over-100-year-old ice cream shop/soda fountain in downtown Columbus.  It was old when I was a kid in the 60's.  Now it's something of a relic.

Flowers on table are from oldest sister (sent by way of her daughter, the niece we were meeting that day.)

Saturday evening, my sister and I met with a wonderful couple who knew our brother through the local amateur radio club.  Words cannot do justice to what a gift it was to hear the couple recount memories and thoughts regarding our brother and share the experiences they had had with him over the years.


Sunday was my 62nd birthday.  It was the first time in months we'd attended church just as congregants.  We've been back a few times (even the week before) to serve on sound and computer duty, but it was our first experience since COVID that we sat with other attendees and just soaked in the worship service unencumbered by duties.  I didn't even wear a mask.  Yes, there is life after COVID vaccines!

Monday I took a walk through one of my favorite places: the local cemetery:

Tuesday (yesterday), my sister, and hubs & I spent hours looking at slides from our childhood.  It was bittersweet, but good.  We spent some time culling out pictures we didn't want, and made plans to digitize the keepers.

And this (Wednesday) morning, we woke up to this:

I know the snow won't stay for more than today, but it's very sad to imagine that under the snow, all the beautiful blooming trees probably turned brown overnight.  I'm so glad it was a beautiful drive for my sister as she made her way here last week, and that we took advantage of lovely days to do some walking and taking in the beauty and scent of blooming trees.  

Wednesday (today) my sister began her trek back home.  I pray it will not be hard for her.  Mixed in the good and fun of our time spent together were also hard things.  It's strange how sometimes the hard moments felt like a burden shared, and sometimes it felt like a burden doubled. I'm curious, but I didn't want to ask her if she feels the same. I'm glad we had this time together. I don't want to tinge it with such a negative thought. It's time for us both to do some processing alone again, I suspect.  And it's good (and necessary) for life to get back to some normalcy, but it was hard to see her go.    

While there are still months ahead of probate, I think with the selling of my brother's house, the estate business will all become something that will more easily flow with our days, than our days being directed by things needing attending to. 

I hope to finally start getting back to my "Making Space" challenge I started last year.  And after the snow melts I look forward to enjoying the rest of a beautiful spring here.  

I do hope it's beautiful where you are!  Thank you for stopping by and and letting me share my past week with you.  

This pic is just for a giggle.  
Chick-fil-A really has got good service figured out - even in the rain.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Hi again...

Well, Hi again.

I know I just dropped out of sight again for two weeks.   Thank you to those who made more kind comments on my last post.  Life has been a different kind of challenging these last few weeks, but estate things are moving forward and progress is being made.  Never mind that I constantly feel like I'm trying to catch up.  I think that's the nature of something like this.

The closing on my brother's house is scheduled for later this week.  Looking forward to having that behind, but it's not without mixed feelings and thoughts.  I'm telling myself to prepare to feel something I hadn't quite anticipated when that is done.  Let's hope the feelings are mostly of the positive sort.

So the last time I was here, I was working on a cute-as-can-be bunny cross stitch.  Well...  As I was adding the final color I became deeply disappointed.   It was obvious to me after I started it, that I had purchased a pattern off of Etsy where someone had changed the colors from the original, but I plugged on.  When I printed it out, I noticed the seller called it a "vintage" pattern.  I don't know what that means, or what she intends others to think that means.  I  have since found the same pattern sold by two other sellers online.  It is in no way clear who the original designer is, or if any of the designs available are original.  I was so frustrated at this realization, combined with the disappointing colors, I just put it away for now.  Maybe forever.  

I took a bit of a break and then decided to start May's Snowflower Diaries: Joyful World pattern:

Nearly finished, this one does not disappoint. I love the whimsy in these little monthly stitches.  I will admit, though, to changing the cats' "called-for" colors.  After digging through my stash of DMC floss I came up with a mottled gray cat and kitten.  I think I've decided to turn this (and whatever of these designs I stitch) into a small pillow.  I like the idea of working my way toward a bowlful of small pillows of various cross stitch designs.  Knowing me, I may just about have enough pillows to fill a bowl (or basket) about the time the trend dies off.  That's how I roll.

And that's a wrap!   Thank you for stopping by!  😊

Sunday, March 21, 2021

More little things...

Much is happening here, but most isn't really shareable.  Or somehow it seems that way.  Truthfully, the visible part of what we are doing is so mundane it isn't worth writing about here.  The emotional part is yet to be fully realized, I suspect.

We're moving into a new stage where I can feel free to make decisions about my brother's things that I've not felt free to before now.  It is good to be at this place because it will start freeing up our home, but there is an emotional cost to this that I don't know how to count right now.  On the surface it feels something like relief, but deep down it feels like something else.  
Another loss. 


Meanwhile, while I ponder this somewhat elusive place I am in, stuff does get done.  I do laundry.  I grocery shop. I cook and eat.  Too much.  That last thing doesn't help, I know.  I go to doctor's appointments.  They tell me to eat better and get more exercise.

I know.  I know...    

I will.

And I stitch.  I'm so thankful God gave me this gift of enjoying making things with my hands.  

This week I stitched a little on the bunny cross stitch I showed last week - it's nearly done.  And I kitted up a small seasonal project I'd like to start soon.  And of course I don't want to totally neglect the mystery sampler I'm only 7 months behind on, but I have completely ignored it for a week now.

Today I have crochet to show.  I got out some pretty spring-colored crochet threads and made two more little doilies from the book, 99 Little Doilies by Patricia Kristoffersen.

Doily #4, which I'm calling Sweet Thing:

and Doily # 24 - which I've dubbed "Parasol": 

I'll just say upfront, I did #24 wrong.  But that's okay.  That makes mine an original.  And a good blocking made it all better.  Truth be told, I like my mistake better than the original.  Isn't it nice when that happens?  😊  This one I made with size 3 thread, which means it's thicker than a typical doily, and it should make a nice little coaster.  That center part is just the right size for fitting under a glass.

That's it!  That's all I've got on the crafty front - on this second day of spring!    Well that and tomorrow I'm scheduled for my second Pfizer COVID vaccine.  Yay!  Moving closer to normal!