Monday, December 14, 2020

A Little Christmas Spirit and a Fudge Recipe!

What a couple of weeks it has been. My work has just been crazy and I have desperately been trying to sneak in some Christmas sprit amongst all the bad news out there. So I thought I would share some handmade Christmas items I completed over the years. And it reminded me that I need to do more. 

 The Santa cross stitch pillow is from a hardback Leisure Arts book and it's one of the first cross stitches I ever did when I started stitching. The Santa ornament is a chalkware type ornament that I painted and finished myself. I have one with a green hat too. The resin Santas came unfinished and I painted them by hand and then antiqued and sealed them. I have more of them, but these are some of my favorites. I was on a real resin Santa kick for a while in the 90's. The little stuffed snowman was a project my sister and I came up with. She came over for an afternoon and we made little snowmen-probably about 25 or so years ago actually. Fun memories.

Like I said, just trying to get a little festive. I love twinkle lights inside and we have colored lights around the windows and glass door. When you stand outside and look in, it really looks cozy and warm. I have come to love Swedish star lanterns too. I have two and need to add more to my collection. I keep threatening to move to Northern Sweden to a little red house, and I'll need lots of these when I do.

I only managed a bit of stitching, but here's a little update on Fancey Blackett's Brooms.

The nose on this cauldron cracks me up. I don't know why. I can't wait to finish this up. It's been so fun to work on. 

I managed to squeeze in some other crafty stuff lately. I finished my Journey Blanket Scarf.

And I'm making some wooden bead scandanavian star ornaments. You can grab the tutorial HERE.

These are really fun and neat. I made a promise to myself to make 4-5 handmade ornaments every year from now on. I haven't done that in so long and it's so much fun, and so meaningful. Plus I'll have something special to leave to my kiddos one day!

Oh yeah. Also made some rocky road fudge recently! You can find the recipe HERE. It's so easy and it really makes a nice presentation and it is super tasty and creamy! Seriously, it's only gonna take you about 15 minutes or less to make. 

Doesn't that look yummy??!! And it is! 

Well, that's it for now folks. Now it's ordering, waiting for packages, shopping, etc. Still deciding what to make for Christmas dinner, but it'll only be the 4 of us again, like Thanksgiving. It will be so nice when this pandemic is over and our lives can get back to where they were. I'm thankful we are all still here, but so many people have lost loved ones. It's overwhelming. Today we are at over 300,000 lives lost. 

Be back soon with a Brooms update! Until then,

Sunday, November 29, 2020

A week off and not much stitching!

I had the whole past week off and it was SO NICE! I walked at the park a couple times with my mom, spent time decorating for Christmas, and had a lovely Thanksgiving with the two kiddos and my hubby. 

 So relaxing and nice. Cooking still took most of the day, even though it was only us! It was worth it though, as it always is.

I did work on Fancey Blackett a tiny bit. I didn't sit at my desk too much because it's what I do all week anyways and I rather enjoyed being unshackled from it last week. At least I had some progress.

I just love the detail of one of the "O's" being different with that little Algerian eyelet. It's so cute.

A little side note on this pattern if you are going to stitch it. The upper right smoke swirl--I noticed that the printed pattern had it closer than the one on the outermost left side to the nearest other swirl. I studied the printed pattern and realized something---the stitched pattern photo had it RIGHT, and the printed pattern was off.  So if you stitch this pattern, just move that top RIGHT swirl (above the "S") over two stitches, and you'll be fine. You'll be fine even if you don't, but if you want the swirls to be evenly spaced, like they are intended to be from the photo, then just bump it over two.

 Thanksgiving night, I got the itch to start a new crochet project. I've been starting some and not finishing them, which isn't my style really, but here's a new start! It's the Journey Blanket Scarf, from Ravelry. It's a super fun stitch too.

Please forgive the little doggie hairs. Everything I stitch or crochet seems to have doggie hair in it. That's just my life, lol. And it has been my life for nearly 30 years now! 

I'll leave you with a pretty pic of a walk my mom and I took at the park yesterday. It was just beautiful. It's been so mild here in VA. I think it's going to be over 70 here tomorrow. So strange. But with this pandemic, it makes things like eating outside so much nicer. And I am enjoying getting out comfortably this late in the season.

I truly do have so much to be thankful for. But this year has really stretched me to my limits. The numbers of people infected with Covid and the deaths in this country are truly outrageous. It seems I'm always in a state of shock that the best that America can do is to be the worst in the world. It is shameful. 

Please take care of yourselves and each other out there. Do what is required to keep you and your family safe. You do not want this disease. You do not want a family member to get it either. It's devastating.

OK enough of that. Keep on stitching and crafting and do whatever makes you happy in life! Enjoy the sunshine and warmth if you have it, and appreciate the beauty of the cold and snow if that is what you are having now as well. Be back next time hopefully with that cute cauldron finished, if I have enough time to work on it!

Until then,

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Anniversary and Fancey Blackett Conversion takes shape!

I've changed up the pinwheels on Fancey Blackett's Brooms to quaker symbols! I thought it would look pretty and I'm loving the results! What do you think?

 I don't know if I'll fill in those two left side symbols with anything. Still trying to decide! Fun design to work on.

My mom and I traveled to In Stitches yesterday to pick up my Giving Sisters by Notforgotten Farm. They do a spectacular job on everything. I have never been disappointed with their framing. They are meticulous! Framing is so very expensive, so when you get something back you want it perfect!

Please forgive the glare. It's impossible to get a photo without it! Just look at how perfectly straight those borders are! I'm not confident enough to pin linen, or lace it, even though I want to learn. But WOW, was I super happy with those borders, lol. Such a beautiful job, and a beautiful design!

I hope to work my way down to Fancey's cauldron this week, if work allows. It's been brutal! But I always have my stitching on my desk and my Ott lamp is always on, in case I finish up and have a few minutes to put some stitches in. It truly does help my outlook on things.

We celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary on the 8th! As my mom likes to say, "that's nothing to sneeze at!". We went to our favorite restaurant for dinner that we go to once a year, and had an really nice time. The weather was just gorgeous!

Time to plan out Thanksgiving dinner for just us and the kiddos. Sadly things will be different this year, but no way I'm taking chances with our parents. I just cannot. But, some turkey and cookies will probably be headed their way when it's all done!

Stay well and safe, and I'll be back soon with a Fancey update! Until then,

Thursday, November 5, 2020

A post-Halloween update and election week

Happy post-Halloween! I worked on Fancey Blackett's Brooms this week and here's my progress so far! 


I'm in love with the linen color and mottling. And I'm in love with that simple and prim Fancey Blackett. This is a really fun stitch so far. She is so cute.

Halloween was really subdued. We had way less than half the Trick or Treaters as we normally do, which is great considering the horrific pandemic numbers we have in this country. The full moon was beautiful and the weather was chilly but mild. We had pumpkins to carve, and fun foods to eat. All in all, I'm thankful.

I'm kind of looking forward to T-giving, in that it will be a bit less stressful than having everyone over. BUT, not looking forward to not being able to have everyone over. Does that make sense? I don't want that to be an event where anyone gets sick. Hopefully next year we will be able to do it. 

I did send the deposit for our beach vacation next year, so I'm a little optimistic about where we might be by that time. Fingers crossed. And speaking of fingers crossed, I'm hoping the election will be finished by tonight. My stomach has been in knots since Tuesday. 

I hope everyone gets some stitching in during this stressful week/weekend. And I will see you soon with a Fancey Blackett update!

Until then,

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Fancey Blackett's Brooms and Autumn Colors

 Fancey is making an appearance! I tried to start off twice with the upper left corner, and I was getting nowhere with that border. I started it with one strand on 32 count, and my eyes weren't having it.So I dyed another piece of 28 count, which I liked even better than the first, and started with that. STILL I wasn't having fun. I started using one strand, but it wasn't laying right, so I switched it up and started with Ms. Fancey herself and I'm using two strands over two on this 28 count. Success!

I'm hooked on all things Fancey Blackett. This is just what I need to take me in to the Halloween week and weekend. Sadly, we aren't having any big get togethers. Truth is, we haven't had a Halloween party for quite a few years now. But I am making some fun food and desserts for the holiday and I think we'll all have a little bit of fun next Saturday. 

The weather yesterday was abotu 83 degrees and today is 48! If you don't like the weather in VA, just wait a minute! 

My mom and I took a walk at the park, and had a nice lunch outside at Firebird's. I don't think she's been since the end of February, right after I had surgery. It was much needed!

The colors here are spectacular. I live all year just to see these colors of Autumn. 

Work was crazy busy last week. I feel like a mental health break is on the horizon for me. It's all getting to be a bit much. I try to keep as much normalcy during these times as I can, but boy oh boy, it's difficult. The kids and I haven't been to the movies in over a year. I think the last one we saw was Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Which, if you haven't seen it, go watch it NOW. Or at least watch it this week. I highly recommend! Anyways, life is just changed. And not for the better right now. But we're trying. That's all you can do.

That's about it for now. Not much happening. I hope to get a few pumpkins this week so we can at least do some carving. That tradition must stand, no matter what. I hope everyone is safe and well and making at least one or two plans for keeping the Halloween tradition this year. Let me know what you're up to!

Until next time,

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Know Thyself is DONE! Fall musings and thoughts.

 Another finish on the books, finally! I powered through and completed this little Blackwood and Briar pattern, Know Thyself, in just a couple days this week. I'm very happy with it.

As I stitched this, I not only thought about whether or not I know myself, but also, if anyone really knows me? I think this is a universal question. Not that I have any deep dark secrets, but who really knows all your aspects? This will hang in my bedroom on my witchy wall, to remind me about taking my own inventory and coming to terms with all aspects of myself. 

I may start this Pineberry Lane pattern next. We'll see. I dyed the fabric last night and got it all ironed and serged up. I need my husband to help me put the Q-snaps together. I have a big basket with all the stuff in it, and I get overwhelmed trying to figure out the pieces for a project, lol. 

Now, I know the fabric might look similar to the first one I listed, but I assure you, it IS different! This one is a brown/marshmallow-y looking fabric. I didn't want anything too crazy, but something a bit more fun than just plain old brown linen. I'm hooked on dyeing fabric. This is a Zweigart 32 count linen that originally comes in white.

Oh Autumn. How I love thee.

Maybe we'll hit up our local pumpkin patch next week and see what's going on out there. These are the times that I miss having a little one around. We had so much fun taking our son to the pumpkin patch!

Just a few stash items since last time. I have sold a ton of stuff too, in one of my stash unload groups on facebook, but I always seem to find something to replace it with, lol.

I got that Cricket pattern simply for the little elf in the upper right hand corner. I mean, c'mon!

I have to stitch this little guy. Is he surprised? Is he not supposed to be playing with that toy? I mean, what is the story here??!! He or she just makes me smile. 

I hope you all are having a lovely Autumn so far. Our weather has just been fantastic. A day or two of rain every now and then, but my gosh, Fall in VA has been awesome. BUT, I keep getting reminded of October memories on facebook and all the Fridays we spent at King's Dominion Halloween Haunt, and it just kills me. I miss it so much. I miss all the fun things we did not get to do this year. Vacations, birthday parties, summer get-togethers, King's Dominion, etc. And we made the awful choice not to have our relatives over for Thanksgiving or Christmas this year. Heartbreaking. BUT, I want them all around next year, you know?

Time to sign off and go figure out what to do for dinner! Have a wonderful weekend, and get lots of stitching in! Until next time,

Monday, October 5, 2020

Finally a Finish!

I finally finished that sweet little Pineberry Lane October 31 design into a little pouch! 

I used fabric glue to secure the binding, since hand sewing didn't go well at all. And I also used the glue to make the bias for the handle. It worked out pretty good. It sure isn't perfect, but it's done! I like this design so much I might have to stitch it again for a frame.

I added some more rows to my crochet dresser mat. I am loving it!

A smal stitchy update. I have only taken a few minutes here and there to work on it. 

 The weather here has been absolutely beautiful. I cannot overstate that! It is REALLY finally Autumn in VA. I want to be more present in my daily life this month and really drink in everything about the season. I want to try and meditate for 5 to 10 minutes every evening or during the day if I break from work. I plan to eat all the seasonal fruits I can. And I plan to stitch more, and try to relax more. With everything happening in this country, I need to step away from the news and turn on my Fall or Halloween playlist and just chill out. I need to take more photos too. I have slacked off from Project Life for the past couple/few years, and would like to get back in to it at some point. So much to think about and do. I should have plenty to keep me busy over the next few months, at least!

I hope you all find lots of little pleasures in life this month and find some ways to appreciate what we have and plan for the future, whether that is tomorrow, next week, next year or beyond. Take care of yourselves! Thank you for checking in on my blog. I really appreciate it. 

Until next time,