Friday, February 22, 2013

Home Front News

Home Front News

This morning as I'm starting this the weather is reminding us that it is winter as the snow is swirling about and dancing to the whim of the winds, the temps have dropped, and ice flows meandering down the river out back.  It's a pretty sight but I'm actually glad to be inside in the nice warmth of our cozy little cottage.

I believe we are in for at least a couple of inches.  Here is a picture that I took from the front door after the last snow fall after the plow made it's pass.  That particular storm gave us 12" of light and fluffy powder.  I love the colors of this shot.  The second picture is from the riverside window from the same day.  It odd to see such a difference in the colors.

Ohhh ... LOL... as you can see,  I can post pictures again.  Yeah!!!  So I have to start catching you up on all those pictures I haven't been able to share with you for the last several months now. I'm soooo happy that I got my laptop back up and working again for the most part.  I found that I was missing that aspect of my blogging.  And I bet you, my wonderful followers; might missed them too.   I know as quilters we LOVE our eye-candy.  So now I have to decide how I'm going to do this.... a few pictures at a time or drop them in all at once?  Hummmmmm...well I guess you will have to keep reading to see. ;)

A weekend or two ago, I put together my first Trip Around the World (TAW) top that I received as a gift in Dec.  It was interesting as this one was done on point and looked a bit odd as I was laying it out.   So without much ado......

I went from this ....
To This......

I see I'm going to get a better picture if this one so that you can actually see how much brighter it is in person.  And when I do I'll be sure to get a nice close up so you can see the pretty prints in it too. 

Let's see what else have I been doing?  I finished the baby quilt that I was hand quilting for my friend in Scotland for her new grand son.  It was such a bright little quilt and a good project to be doing in the winter.  I was pleased with the results as this was the 1st one I have done for someone either than me.  So I took great pains to try & keep my stitches small.  

The Finish

On the Front... Tiny Stitches

Back Side Better to See
I have been working on so many hand stitching projects as we settle in for the evenings TV Time.  Most the time you can be sure the new housemates are always ready for the lap cuddling so on most nights this is what I look like.

The space to my right is where the SO sits but he thought that we needed to show how the the girls were adjusting not long after we got to bring them home.  I think this was in a matter of less than a weeks time span judging from the project that I'm working.  The one looking at the camera is Ms. Honey and her sister, who is trying not fall off; is Nosy Rosy.  Later on I was able to sneak a picture of the SO as he was taking on nap.  This would have been sometime after his birthday as his present is draped across his lap and I see that N.R. is inspecting my applique.  LOL.

Sshhh!!! Let's not wake him.
Ssshhhh!  He doesn't even know that I took this pic.  But it's all fair.... lol.  But I also happen to know he has taken a few more ambush pictures of me when ever he knows I'm not looking.  (Rolling my eyes here)  I actually prefer to be behind the camera than in front of it. 

I am making more time to work on my own projects as you might remember and sort of stepping back for doing so many swaps.  So I have been working on what I currently call "Sunflowers and Crows".  So I'm working on cross-hatch by hand as I listen to either a Cd book or some classical music as I go along.
In The Hoop
Close Up For Scale
 As you can see in the 2nd picture, I'm really working on my Stitch Per Inch (SPI) as I go along.  These little squares are approximately one inch and you might be familiar with the size of those flower pins.  This is one of my UFO projects that I'm planning to finish this year.  But as you can see this is going to be a long process with these stitches.  But I'll prevail and that it all that matters.

I did finish my Feb. private swap and I know how much it will be to mail it to Canada.  So I guess I could do a very small sneak peek just to be a bit of a tease. 

OK ... so what is it?
 See I told ya it would be a small  I know that was awful but ooh so easy. 

I had sat down on the 18th of this month then I wrote out some of my goals for the rest of the month and so far I made some progress as I have gotten about half while through the list.  So.... okay.... so I'm must confess I'm a list maker.  But along with that and my journal keeping; it seems to keep me on task.   As I'm sitting here I keep glance to my left at the list as it seemingly nagging me silently that I should be stitching, or cutting or something more productive than being on the 'puter.  That and the rumbling of my tummy that would rival Winnie-the-Pooh's.  So with that I will bid you all a good afternoon as I venture off to get food, coffee and some hand work.  But I leave with one more picture of the Kitties as they have are taking a break from their supervisiory duties.

Break Time
Toodles Y'all!! Tricia

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Bouncing About ... Subjects That Is.

Oh so it was Valentine's Day this week .... not that it was different from any other day.  I stitched, I read, and I made dinner.  Okay so I did try to make a special dinner and for the most part it was successful. But other than that .... whatever.

So this week I was busy doing my own thing and that is okay.  I managed to get my Trip Around the World (commonly known as TAW) top done.  I received it as part of a gift box that I got in Dec. and I was smart and didn't bury it in some box like I'm prone to do.  This was an interesting experience as not only was this my first TAW but this TAW is done on point so it gave it a whole another twist in trying to keep the layout in it's proper place.  And the colors sure are eye popping bright.  I'm going to get some pictures of it next week when I go to the library.  I'm to announce that with little fuss I was able to succeed in tackling the challenge this gave me. YEAH ME!!! Are ya rolling your eyes yet?  LOL.

I finally decided what I was doing for my  forum block.  I let the focus fabric sit there for a few days to simmer and tell me what it wants to become.  The word "Bird" came to mind when I first looked at it and from there I worked that theme.  In fact I have have half of it appliqued down already .... yeah!!  

I am still hand quilting my "Sunflowers and Crows" with it's cross-hatching design.  It's really nice to unplug and just sit with a Cd book and needle in my hand.  I think I have put in over a dozen lines of stitching in on her.  I'm not allowed to work on it unsupervised according to the fuzzy roommates.  Each time I sit down,  Honey comes over to do her spot inspections from all the angles that she can manage.  If I just let her do it, not interrupting her Highness by removing her;  I find the said inspection tends to go a tad faster.  If she feels that she has done her job proper, she will remove herself to take her position on the back to the sofa.   Each time I walk away, we must repeat the process.  Which is fine, as long as it's not while I'm trying to sit down with a very hot cup of coffee in my hands.  There is nothing like having a cat head butt ya when she is under the hoop, hits the coffee cup jamming against my teeth and causes me to dump said HOT coffee down the front of one's self and trying to miss the floor hoop full of progress. 

This weekend I'm hoping to be working on some of my current WIP's if I can get past this head cold that appears to be coming on.   I have to do the 3 B's to my heart piece for my friend in Canada.  I should be able to get most of the applique done on the HT forum block.  And with any luck, top off the weekend by finishing the block for my HT Mystery quilt.   

Not to long I ago I had an issue in a group that I belong to and decided that I wouldn't partake in it anymore and for many weeks I stayed away.  But now I feel like I have cut off my nose to spite my face so to speak.  I kind of miss some of the people from the group and now I have that omega pack mentality as I find myself circling the pack wondering if I could slink back in unnoticed.  I know that no matter what type of group it is - there will always be politics and a sense of hierarchy within the dynamics.  So I wonder if I'm just hyper-sensitive with my reactions as I have more of an introvert type personality.  I have gone thru this before and I am beginning to think it's more me than who or whatever the issue was that caused me to withdraw back into myself.  I wonder, have you ever found yourself  in such a dilemma and how did you handle it?  Does anyone else struggle with these monsters besides myself?  There are times in which I wonder if I'm too quick to react and if the reaction is the wrong one. 

Well it's definitely time to find my zen again this weekend.  I am looking forward in just plying my needle and drifting away to some classical music.  Some Beethoven mixed with the sound of falling rain to start with then slowly meandering through some "Serenity"  with Bach, Debussy, Verdi, Tchaikovsky and many other great talents.  Oh to have on hand a copy of Disney's Fantasia movies would send my heart into pure rapture.  That has always been the top Disney movie for me.  The crescendos, bridges and visual eye candy ... now THAT would an interesting quilt based on ones own interpretations. 

Oh which reminds me .... I might be able to start sharing pictures again next week providing all goes well.  I can't wait to show ya what I actually have been doing.  It's sooooo much better with pictures.  I finally got an Operating System disk  for the laptop and come Wednesday, I will have some help loading it.  Aahhh to have my 'puter back brings me great joy.

I was pleased to read the comments that was left on last weeks post.  I happy to read that on occasions my ramblings are helpful in some way.  That they at times struck a cord in the reader.  Please feel free to reach out and leave me a note as I do read them. 

Well the coffee cup is empty and sitting here is not getting another done, so I'm off to caffeine up and start plying that needle on one of my many projects to the soothing sounds of classical music.


Friday, February 8, 2013

Prepared ...

How does one prepare for a snow storm?  Well -- there are a variety of  ways that can vary as there are people or types of fabrics.  I did some grocery shopping at the beginning of the week, went to my sewing circle on Wednesday, and made sure I knew what hand sewing work was in hands reach.  I never lack for hand work for sure!  I know that I'm not the only one. 

So when the pretty flakes started to drift down yesterday, I was armed and ready in a matter of speaking. As there was a small break between systems, I trudged out to the mailbox in 4+" of fresh powder.  I was so content with my peaceful surroundings, that I was able to calmly stitch an average of  7 to 9 per inch.  After a simple dinner, I find that another couple of inches of fallen. This morning, after emerging from the cocoon of warmth of my bed, I peeked outside to find what appears to be a total of close 12" of snow has graced us with it's presents. The sunlight unmercifully glares blindingly off the unmarred quilt of snow that now covers everything in sight, as I sip from my cup of ambition known as coffee; as I ponder my own quilting weekend goals. 

Quilters seem to have a knack for being prepared by making sure that there is a quilt or two that is waiting for their binding stitching down.  Or perhaps those projects that only come out earmarked especially for those times when the power gets knocked out.  Maybe it's some taming of the scraps by using that daylight to cut them into more usable cut selections of squares and/or strips for those projects in the future.  

But either way, once the snow begins to fall; we quilters relish the thought of having some found "free" time to enjoy our endeavors.  If we think far enough ahead -- we even throw a meal together in a crock pot to simmer and tempt us with teasing aromas of a meal that is all but cooking itself so that we aren't interrupted by such a necessarily mundane chore. Oh such sweet glory to be had!!

The last several weeks I have found in somewhat a mental funk from the emotional roller coaster that continues to surround the family on several levels. Between children with their own issues and antics of the drama persuasion, and the Other Half's medical crisis's and subsequent appointments; I have tried to take a mental break from things. 

I have unplugged by reading a total of 8 books that included a pleasant mix of paranormal and supernatural baselines to a series that has a hint of post WWII era Irish doctors and dash of romance from a favorite author to top it off.  I have gone as far as going to the front room to spend time with my floor hoop and a couple Cd books as I hand quilt 12+ cross-hatched rows on an UFO by myself under the supervision of the cats -- who perch on the back of the couch to watch me and nap.

I have spent many hours on stitching in one matter or another.  I have thrown myself in a mystery quilt for one board, and TAW kit that I received in Dec. from another board for what I commonly refer to as my machine time.  I have a rotation of 2 TV Time hand projects next to my chair and a small wall hanging that is getting ready to be sandwiched.  I have taken great lengths to surrender myself to my quilting deity so that I might find a creative way of finding my zen. To allow myself the ability to relinquish the tension, to let go and truly concentrate on the project on hand.  To spend time that causes such a tunnelling effect, that it must noticeably shows some sort of difference to ones own mental health.  Maybe it's something that resembles the pleasure we have from eating chocolate.  What an interesting concept of thinking. Man -- that almost makes me sound like I'm some sort of a deep thinker working on a dissertation paper trying to prove one's hypotheses of a previous observation. 

Okay..... now that just showed my Geek.  LOL. Well maybe I need some chocolate, a fresh cup of coffee, and some fabric fondling therapy as I'm getting into some of my off-the-wall thinking process that can cause me to figuratively catch my tail & endless tangents of ramblings of nothingness.  So I may signing off for now.