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Think Pink Giveaway

6 Oct

This is a really lovely giveaway – Nataly’s Needle is offering a big collection of crafty items to highlight Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  It includes a DMC Stitch Pink Needlework Accessory Kit (which contains pink scissors, pink pouch, pink needle threader, and pink floss cards),  post it note pad, pink ribbon socks, pink ribbon tape measure, 3 pink ribbon rubber bracelets, pink leather journal, The Sweetheart Tree Tickled Pink pattern with charm, and a stitched scissor fob made and designed by Nataly.  You’ve got until Oct. 12 to sign up.

Even if Cross Stitch isn’t your craft of choice, there is a lot there that would be a pleasure to own by anyone the slightest bit crafty so head on over and put your name into the hat.  If you’re someone who would like to get started cross stitching, this would be a good beginner set to get you going.

October decorating – yes with pictures!

5 Oct

Things came together very nicely for getting some pictures up of my October decorations – my daughter loaned me her camera, but she couldn’t find the cord and I couldn’t figure out how to link the memory stick directly to my computer.

But then I got a lovely delivery – Michael bought me a computer/copier/scanner and it was delivered yesterday.  Today I got it set up and found a very easy to use slot for the memory stick on the printer.

Mind you, these aren’t very good pictures – the lighting wasn’t great, and my hands are a bit shaky to take steady pictures in bad light, I think.  But at least I’ve got visuals – I’ll practice to get better on the picture taking.

So, this year was an ‘absolutely no purchases allow’ year… and seriously I don’t need anymore autumn decorations (not that that is likely to stop me in a year or two) – I have more than enough for this home, especially when I have to account for visiting toddlers and a cat with a taste for plastic and straw.  Most of  these items are dollar store specials, or put together from items on hand – no real crafting involved, just putting things together until it looks right.

The main bunch of Autumn items are safely up on the mantle, out of the path of both granddaughter and cat:

There is also my year-round tree (the pictures, other than this close up, were far too fuzzy to post), a four foot tall metallic ornament tree that is currently decked out with fall leaf garland, a few black lace covered soft ornaments and home to this little scarecrow and corn dolly.

He’s a dollar store find.. she was handmade by volunteers at Prickett’s Fort up the road from me.  The corn dolly above on the mantle was made by me.

Finally, I took a close up of a few cross stitched items I currently have up:

These first two are my own designs – the crow was worked using variegated floss so the crow pattern was stitched in a sort of checkerboard pattern to add in some texture to help define shape using a black/grey floss.  I had a lot of fun with that one and need to tidy up the chart so it’s usable by others.

The little quilt block is a Tree of Life pattern, also done with variegated floss on perforated paper – stitching little motifs that don’t require a graph to do is how I while away the 5 hour car trips between here and MD (like the one I’ll be doing at the end of the week).  I need to finish this off with a backing and way to hang it – I think it would make a nice ornament to hang… for not it looks fine tucked up on the mantle.

This last is not mine, of course – it’s the work of the wonderful Lizzie Kate designs.  Also worked on perforated paper for quick framing – except I miscalculated the amount of overhang this frame would have, so it looks a bit cramped in there.  Fortunately, the frame itself (another dollar store find) has a nice autumn motif that pulls it together in spite of the cramping.

I’m being lightly mocked by family for all this decorating when I’m going to be away for a good percentage of the month – but it makes me too happy not to do it.  Switching out for November will be easy – a couple items put up, a couple more put out to take their place, and presto chango we’ll be ready for  the last hoorah before the Yule season takes over.


(shared with Tuesday Tag-along and Toot Your Horn Tuesday)

Jasmine Tea, Cross Stitch, and Rain

3 Oct

The title is pretty much everything on my mind today – we had one nice crisp sunny day yesterday, and now we’re back to grey, leaky skies… it almost feels as if the sun forgot to wake up today.  I’ve been at very loose ends – not a lot of energy.  Not exactly achy, but sometimes rheumatoid arthritis creates a bottoming out of energy, like a leaky balloon… everything is just a bit too hard to bother with.

I am glad of the lack of ache – it let me stitch a bit on a perforated paper sampler I’m working on – it’s my own design and I’ll take pictures very soon.  This one will be given to an auction at the UU church I attend late this year, but I can already see I’ll be stitching it again for myself, as I like it very much.

I chose to stitch on paper because I have a tendency to put time into stitching, and then losing steam at the end and never getting them properly finished – with perforated paper, it doesn’t have to be stretched and you pop it into a frame as soon as you’re finished.  Since this piece was for an auction, there’s a deadline involved and I just didn’t want to run the risk of blowing it.

Jasmine tea is my drink of choice today – my son in law came over quite early today, on an errand to pick up a blend of chamomile and mint tea for my daughter who has reached the ‘I-can’t-breathe’ stage of a cold that’s whipping through their house.  While I was putting that together for her, I got a hankering for some jasmine tea for myself.

He brought my granddaughter Hailey over – it’s so neat to have them visit after living with me for the first year of her life – she now gets very excited as they walk in, saying ‘Hi!” and waving to everyone and everything.    She’s also quite fond of pointing and demanding ‘whazzat??’ – and I had a pile of Halloween decorations in a pile ready to find a spot for them, so she was impatient to get down and explore.  This year they’ll all have to be placed with a careful eye to breakable vs. unbreakable and I’ll want to keep a couple plush decorations on hand to let her wander with.

Speaking of, they just got pictures done that they took last month, and one of them includes a t-shirt I cross-stitched for her.  Hailey adores Yo-Gabba-Gabba … I’m not sure if there’s a child alive who doesn’t. It’s a strange phenomenon how this show that has some strange advice (‘don’t bite your friends’… all the kids I know will quickly figure out the loop holes in that thought…especially when you call the peas on your plate friends that want to come to the party in your tummy… but I digress) and pretty good indy pop guest bands also has whatever that mysterious something is that hooks every kid in the universe, including those way too young to get anything about it other than the pretty colors.

But she loves them, and so I designed a little motif featuring Foofa (the pink character) and stitched it on a t-shirt using 14-ct waste canvas.  It stitched up fast – but boy, it’d been a long time since I’d used waste canvas, and I forgot what a long tedious chore it is to ease the  threads out after you’re done stitching.  I’m very glad they got a picture of her wearing it – she’s growing so fast that it’s already being worn by one of her stuffed toys now.

So… other than crafting and sipping and doing a whole lot of nothing, I did get some yogurt strained and thickened (I love Greek style yogurt, but hate paying the price charged for it – a container of plain yogurt, strained over a bowl through a strainer lined with a coffee filter does the trick).  This time, I strained it once, stored away the liquid in the bowl (whey), stirred and strained again, and it came out really thick – just about cream cheese consistancy, and I’ve got almost a full jar of whey to use for the next little while.

I’d meant to start some bread dough today… but.. eh.. there is that energy thing.  And my youngest is in the kitchen making cupcakes, so probably best if i just keep my feet up and wait awhile.. or nap.