Friday, March 17, 2023

It's Not Easy Being Green

 I didn't realize how long it's been since I posted. We have been busy with house guests and beaching and shopping and eating out, etc. but I still managed to get some stitching done and now I am ahead of myself for March.



I started out by following the number sequence on the grid, but then just starting doing embroidery that matched the size of the segments.


For example, my dinosaur was not happy staying in one segment and insisted on taking up three. You don't argue with a dinosaur.


I outline stitched around his body and colored in the green part with diluted acrylic paint. Saved me a lot of stitching and I like the way he looks.




Had to have a shamrock for St. Patrick's Day. I have always been fond of Ginkgoes. The spotted background is made of small French knots in a very dark green. And, of course a palm tree, since I am doing this now in Florida.



Who doesn't love Kermit the Frog? He got the same paint treatment as the dinosaur. I had a terrible time with the stitching of the words. When I did my 286 circles, I was able to trace my designs onto the fabric using a light box and get some very intricate designs. But this whole scroll of muslin is backed with flannel and I cannot see the design thru both layers of fabric, so I am either tracing around cutouts or drawing free hand. Not happy with it, but at least it's legible.




Ignore light blue lines on top right. That is washable marker that hasn't been washed out yet.



I'll try to post next week. Maybe I'll be finished with March.

I'm linking up with Off the Wall Friday.

Friday, February 24, 2023

February finished (almost)

 I finished the bocks for February, except for one, which I hope to finish today. 


What's that blue fish doing in my pink and red page? It's my homage to Dr. Seuss...One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish. Blue Fish. The colors in this are a little washed out and the colors of the two below are a little dark. The actual color is somewhere in between. The fabric is unbleached muslin.

Remember that all pictures are clickable for a bigger view.








I'm looking forward to doing March with many shades of greens  Think leaves, trees, frogs, snakes shamrocks, etc.

I'm linking up with Off the Wall Friday.


Saturday, February 11, 2023

On to February

 


I am actually up to date on February. I'm using a little of other colors, where necessary but trying to stay with the reds and pinks. I'm trying to balance easy blocks with more labor intensive ones. For some reason the mushroom took forever filling in with red around the white circles. The fourth was my birthday so I had to make a cake. Lots of taking out and doing over and it still looks wonky. Oh, well on to the next blocks.



Last year in my Floria community someone was putting rock creatures here and there along the walkways in the mulch. They were so much fun to look at. My sister and Claire and I made some and put them out.

When we came down to Florida in November they were all gone. I wonder what happened to them. Did the grounds crew throw them away when they put down fresh mulch? We'll never know. When I'm walking in the morning I see new ones and I straighten them out if necessary. This fabulous turtle is fairly new and when I went to take a picture yesterday one leg was missing so I took the tail and put it in for the missing leg. I cannot understand why anyone would mess them up. There are a few new ones and I'll show them next week.

I'm linking up with Off the Wall Friday.

Friday, February 3, 2023

Finished!


 Hooray, January is finished. I tried very hard to finish on the date, Jan. 31 and I did. These blocks are tiny, the smallest is 1" x  3/4" and the largest is 2" x 1 3/4".  I am finding it a bit challenging to work so small.  I seem to spend a lot of time unstitching. My circles were 3" diameter and were much easier to do.

I started on February and was planning to do it all in shades of red and pink, but I think I will add some other colors here and there (like green for leaves) and make it predominately reds and pink. 

I will show you some more next week

I am linking up with Off The Wall Friday.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

New Year, New Project

 I really missed having my circles in a square project from last year. I was so glad that a friend clued me in to this daily stitching project. You can read all about it here. Karen Turner, an embroiderer in the UK is the inspiration. She also set up a group Facebook page where members can post their progress. You have to be a member to view it, but it's oh, so easy to join. 

She has a very nice template that you can download to keep your days in order and that one month tessellates into the next. I am way behind because it started on the first of January and I didn't start until the 12th. I am trying hard to catch up so that I can just do one day at at a time.


I am also behind because I had so many false starts. I first started on a piece of an antique linen sheet, given to me by a dear friend, but found that it was difficult to stitch thru. Then I switched to washed unbleached muslin. I drew and did a running stitch to outline the blocks and found that it was not laying flat. I then spray basted it to a piece of washed flannel.

Then to start stitching. After doing two or three blocks in different colors I decided that I wanted each month to be in its own color. So unstitch three blocks and start with a blue and gray theme, appropriate for January. The turquoise stars and spray of leaves are wash-out marker.

This strip is 11 inches wide by 195 inches long. A LOT of stitching. I'm finding it challenging because the blocks are so small. I loved working on my three inch circles last year, but having some trouble with these. Hopefully I will improve. I also learned that a finer thread works best on these small blocks. I used size 8 Perle cotton almost exclusively on my circles, but it is too heavy on this. I am now using mostly two or three strands of floss.

If you like to embroider I would suggest your joining us. I will try to post every week's progress.

I will be linking up with Off the Wall Friday.




Saturday, December 17, 2022

It's a Party!

 Finally after a two year hiatus due to Covid, I was able to have my annual Ladies Luncheon Christmas party. Everybody came and no one was sick. I neglected to take any pictures so I rely on the kindness of others who did. 

Here are Terry, Maxine, and Donna enjoying the cocktail of the day. I make a signature Martini each year. This time it was Peppermint Martini made with vanilla vodka, Peppermint Schnapps and Half & Half. They were rimmed with crushed candy canes. They were delish, if potent. No one had more than one. Then we switched to wine for lunch.

                                                         

Terry and Sheila who must shop at the same store and look equally attractive and festive.



  Ermine and Mickie.





                                                               Marlene  and Sheila



Mary, Donna, Marilyn, Chris and Claire

                                             Sisters, Marilynn and Chris in holiday attire.


                                         And my sister and me, sharing a special moment.

We were 15 in total and I'm sorry that I don't have a picture of everyone. I'll just have to hire a better photographer next year.


Hand made party favor napkin ring, made last year and not used because the party was cancelled at the last minute because some of the guests had been exposed to Covid the night before.


If I don't post before them I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a happy healthy New Year.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Longwood Gardens

 My sister and two friends, Claire and Maxine took a mini vacation to Kennet Square, Pennsylvania to see the fabulous Christmas exhibit  at Longwood Gardens. You can go here to read all about it and see pictures that are way better than mine. I took so many pictures, but here are just a few.




The first several pictures were taken in the conservatory. It was one magnificent tree after another, each one a different theme.



                            
Aqua anyone? One of my favorite colors and this tree was stunning!



                            This is a close-up of a tree decorated entirely with dried flowers.

Maxine wore a pretty puffer jacket in lavender. The orchids on and around the tree were a perfect match!





All fresh flowers in a spiral around the tree. BTW all the trees were fresh, as were all the flowers and plants.


It was hard to get the splendor of the central part of the conservatory. There was a spiral path running thru made of red poinsettias. A very large display.







This was taken outside in a tree house of sorts. We did a lot of walking around thru the grounds and it was beautiful, but the real show stopper was the light exhibit outside at night






I'm sure that a better camera than my iPhone would have been able to capture the magic of the light displays. I took a ton pictures, but none of them did them justice. Many of the deciduous trees were wrapped from head to toe in lights of every color. From a distance this one looked like all white lights, but when you got closer you could see all the colors mixed in.







This is one of three tunnels of light that we walked thru. The lights kept changing color. Whole sections would be magenta that gradually changed to green or orange or other colors. Mesmerizing and beautiful!



I am usually a purist who only likes white holiday lights. Longwood Gardens changed my mind. Please go to their website to see the true glory of it all. Or take a trip and see it in person. It was about a 3 1/2 hour trip for us and we stayed over two nights in a hotel. We also visited the Brandywine Museum that features the art of the Wyeth family.



We also went to Winterthur, another DuPont mansion done up for Christmas . It was charming, with a different themed tree in each room. 

I am waiting to get pictures from yesterday's party. I did not take any (shame on me) and am hoping that others did.

I'm liking up with Off the Wall Friday.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

And more non-glass ornaments

 

Metal with a spiral at the end of his coat.


       I bought him in Germany. Wooden and if you pull on the cord his arms and legs jump up.





Made out of felt. I don't think he's handmade, but still very cute

                                                            Femo clay and a sea shell.



                                                   Another wooden one bought in Germany. 


Made by me a couple of years ago. Followed a pattern and he was VERY labor intensive.



Flat fused glass purchased in Murano, Italy.


I made this many years ago when I was doing needlepoint.




Many years ago I had a friend who made adorable mice ornaments. She would make anything you wanted and I chose Mr. and Mrs Santa Claus The detail is amazing. My son was a toddler at the time and she made him in a blue all-in-one sleeper hugging his favorite brown dog toy (named Brown Dog)

I probably missed a few, but that's enough for now. Tomorrow I am hosting my "annual" Christmas luncheon, which was cancelled for two years due to Covid. I was all set to have it last year.....had all the cooking done, party favors made, both tables set, martinis set to pour and someone came down with Covid at a book club meeting (I was not a member) . This was the night before my party. Half of my guests had been at the meeting. We cancelled, much to my dismay.

I'll send some pictures in my next blog.

Friday, December 9, 2022

More non-glass ornament



 As promised, here are a few more

A simple Santa bought at a church fair.


                         This Santa was a gift and he is made from antique quilt pieces.


I purchased this guy in Hawaii several years ago. Notice the snazzy shorts, bare feet and ukulele, yet you still knows he's Santa.



A needlepoint Santa, probably bought at a Christmas bazaar.


Also a gift several years ago. He is made from canvas, then hand painted and coated with something, probably gel medium to make him very stiff.




This Santa and the one below were purchased at the Red Lion Inn in Sturbridge, Mass. on a trip several years ago. I like his plaid fleece coat. This one stands on my baker's rack with other Santas and the one below is on the tree.





This beautiful hand painted glass ball was purchased at the Hartford Flower Show. The painting is exquisite and his curly beard flows around to the back.

That's it for now. I have a few more to show the next time. 

I am just back, today, from a  three day trip to Longwood Gardens and Winterthur. I'll tell you all about it when I get my pictures organized. Talk about Christmas overload! You will see what I mean when I post about it.