Sunday, January 26, 2020

TUSAL and Catching Up

Hello again, friends!

These last few weeks have been a mix for sure. My mother's husband passed away rather suddenly. He fell on his way to the bathroom and hit his head, and when they took him to the hospital they found that he had cancer throughout his body. They were treating him, but then he developed pneumonia and that was just too much. He was 90 years old, and wasn't in any pain, but it was still very sad, especially since he was really in such good shape, always taking good care of himself. My mother is actually doing better than we thought she would. They had only been married a year and a half, but had been together for nearly 20 years. She is (thankfully) much stronger than she looks, and I trust that she will be ok. With her living in Florida and us in Oregon (my sister is in New Jersey, so she is closer), it is not the easiest situation, but we will all be ok.

Then my husband was knocked in the back of the knee by a ski lift and was out of commission for some weeks. He seems to be nearly healed (and can't wait to get back on the slopes). I'm not sure about that! Last year around the same time, he broke his shoulder. Maybe November, December and January are just not his months!

We've also been busy taking care of our grand-doggies when my daughter has to travel for work. She lives right downtown, so either they come to our house or I go there, so it is not inconvenient. She used to live 6 hours away! And they are both really good dogs, so I don't mind. When I stay at her apartment I tend to get much more stitching done too, so that's what I'm doing next trip. When they are here it is harder with our two dogs as well.  Here is a pic of her boys, Clarence and Coda. You should hear Clarence snore...

I have managed to get some stitching done, but not as much as I would have liked. I did pick up my two oldest WIPs and did a small amount on each. It has taken me a little while to get used to stitching on Aida again, especially since these are so old and the fabric is so much stiffer than what we can find today.


January Quilt for All Seasons

And I also made some progress on a few other pieces,

  Deers Among Wood

 Through the Storms

 Strawberry Fields Forever

and a small start on something new...The Needlework Shop from Country Cottage Needleworks

I almost forgot to post my TUSAL - Totally Useless SAL - the first post of the new year. This is the one SAL I usually always manage to keep up with! Here is my (friendly) Froggy with this month's orts...

It started out sunny today, but is starting to get soupy now, so I think I will get some stitching done. I hope you are all having a great weekend (is anyone doing the 24 Hours of Cross-Stitch Marathon??)

Until next time, be kind and happy stitching!

Monday, January 6, 2020

WIPocalypse 2020

This isn't the first time I have attempted to participate in this event! Usually, I have great hopes for the year, but my WIPs tend to linger while my new starts multiply. This year, however, I am making a really concerted effort to work through all my WIPs (with the help of other groups and challenges) so I feel much more confident about making a go of WIPocalypse this year..

At present, I have over 40 WIPs, and I do plan on touching all of them at some point during the year. But I think I will choose 12 to start with as (hopefully) achievable goals:

1. Quilts for All Seasons - January (Paula Vaughn): This is my oldest WIP and it is at least 20 years old! I love this piece, but I think I made an error somewhere along the way on the quilt, and with all the 1/4 stitches on Aida, I just gave up. Here is where it is now:

2. Alice (Lynne Nicoletti): My second oldest WIP (around the same time as the first), also on Aida. Here is where it is now:

3. A Good Marriage (Lizzie Kate): Started in January 2017. It was meant to be an anniversary gift for my husband that year...maybe this year? Here is where it is now:

4. Queen of the Needle (Just Nan): I love this design, and was fortunate enough to be able to borrow the pattern from a very generous fellow stitcher. But I have been very neglectful with my stitching of it, and I really want to make it a priority this year, so I can return the pattern. Here is where it is now:

5. Grace Quaker Sampler (Sampler Cove): This was started as a SAL in December of 2018. I love Quaker designs and really enjoy stitching this one. I am going to try and alternate it with three other monochromatic stitches until they are all done. Here is where it is now:

6. Another monochromatic piece...this is Dreidel Dreidel (Ink Circles) started in January 2018. Here is where it is now:

7. The third monochromatic piece is called Deers Among Wood (Dessins DHC). I can't remember when I started this. I do remember seeing it stitched over one at my LNS many years ago and I fell in love with it. I bought the pattern then, but didn't start it until only a few years ago when I found a thread through Stitchy Box that I thought would be perfect for the piece.  I am not stitching it over one however! Here is where it is now:

8. The fourth piece is a new WIP, started Jan 1 this year. It is called Quaker Street (Marjorie Massey).
Just barely a WIP, but I really love it and would love to see it completed this year. Here is my little start:

9. Music Amongst the Trees (Rosewood Manor). This was my January 1, 2019 start. I would love to finish it this year. Here is where it is now:

10. Strawberry Fields Forever (Blackbird Designs) This one has been hanging around since April of 2016. I don't know why, because I really love it. It just keeps getting pushed aside, I guess! Here is where it is now:

11. Celtic Autumn (Lavender and Lace) I was really surprised when I pulled this out and saw how far I had stitched on this piece. I do not remember when I started this, but it was many years go. I remember that I got the color conversion from one of the old Yahoo stitching groups. Here is where it is now:

12. Olde Shaker Tune (Homespun Elegance). This is another very old piece and again, I can't remember when I started it. This is one of my very favorite hymns and I hope to finally finish it this year. Here is where it is now:

So...whew! Sorry for such a long post! Like I said before, these are only about 1/4 of my WIPs total, but if I can get these finished this year, I will be very happy!
I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else is planning for the year and stitching together to get our WIPs done!

From the "What Dogs Teach Us" calendar for January: 
Being kind is more important than being important

Hope everyone has a great stitchy day!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

How can it be 2020???

Another year has passed, and once again I am left wondering how it passed so quickly!
All in all, it was a pretty good year, with mostly good things happening and only a few really low points.

My older daughter moved back here to Portland and it has been really nice having her close by again. So now all the chicks are back and we are able to have more family time together.

Jeff and I were able to take a wonderful week in northern Idaho, where we stayed in a cottage on the river and were able to visit Glacier National Park as well

On the sad side, we had to send our beloved dog Eros over the Rainbow Bridge. He was 16 years old and live with us that whole time, so it was a very difficult time for everyone. But, it was his time, and even though we didn't want to say goodbye, we had to think of what was best for him and let him go.

I've been having some problems with my hands which makes stitching for long periods difficult at times, but somehow I still managed to get 19 pieces finished this year. The last two were done last minute for Christmas gifts for my girls.

 This is "I Do", an older design from Bent Creek that I stitched as a belated wedding sampler.

This is called "Take Time to Heal". My daughter and I saw it at a craft fair and she really liked it, so I went home and found the pattern on line and stitched it up for her. The flowers were supposed to be french knots, but since I don't do those well, I used some rainbow gallery thread instead and it turned out really cool and sparkly.

For the coming year, my plan is to work on my WIPs (of which there are many!) No more "start too many projects in January" and then never finish most of them for me. I am keeping myself to no more than 3 new starts at most each month...still probably more than I should, but there are so many projects calling to me from my stash that I can't help myself! I've joined a sort of support group for WIP stitchers, and we have vowed to keep each other motivated!

For January, I am going to try to finally finish my two oldest WIPs. Since they are 20 years old, it seems like the right time!

The first one is called "Alice" and it by Lynne Niccoletti.

This second one is the January quilt from Paula Vaughn's book "Quilts for All Seasons". It is my oldest WIP.

And my January 1st start is Quaker Street by Marjorie Massey. I made a small start on it today, while watching the Oregon Ducks win the Rose Bowl...quite a fun game to watch!

I've made a few resolutions, but I'll talk about them next time. Until then, I hope you all have a wonderful 2020 to look forward to.

Please remember to always be kind to yourself and others.

Happy stitching!