Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A little bit of this and that...

January seems to be the month to hop around from one project to another. For me, it is a little bit of wanting to finish what is started for the NEW year, but then... I get the urge to stitch NEW things! Oh well... at least I am stitching a little bit!

First is my 'finish' of Sachet by Needlemania. Tho I loved the design years ago, my fascination to finish it is long past gone. So, I hemmed and hawed and decided to just finish the one row I was doing... I can figure out how to finish it for display... so, here is Sachet (abbreviated) stitched on 32-count R&R Woodlawn, using Crescent Colours Grasshopper thread :



Then I decided to work on one of last year's SAL's some more... The one by Maryse Dupont. Here are a couple of shots of my progress:





And then, I felt like stitching on something smaller in count, so I started a project on a really nice piece of 40-count linen, called French Vanilla Swirl... and I really like it! I just picked out some DMC favorites to use. This is Walk Humbly by My Big Toe Designs:



And my last little bit of stitching is a piece called Sew Gigi by my friend Carol, of iStitch Designs. It is over one on a piece of 25-count White Lugana, using one strand of Hand Dyed Fibers Baneberry-Light silk.



So I might get a little more done before the month is over, but I at least met my personal goal to work on smalls for the Smalls SAL 2015 --I think I have that covered in the last post and with my Sew Gigi, and maybe Walk Humbly.You don't have to FINISH one each month, just share... Plus I am working away on ten WIPs for the year for the Turtle Trot ... Doing good!

I will be going to stay with my eldest and her family soon, as their youngest has to have Brain Surgery to correct a Chiari Malformation. It is very serious, so I ask for your prayers for the very best results and strength for all of us as we wait and during recovery. Thanks so much!

Oh ,P.S. I posted again at Birding Devotee today! Hugs,

Maggee

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Quick post with finishes and an addition!

It is getting late, and I want to go stitch... where DOES the time go! I have a few finishes to share with you...

I finished Song of Spring by Blackbird Designs finally!

Then I did two of the languishing Lizzie Kate Double Flips from days of old. I will lace them, so that I can pop them in and out of one frame. It has been a long time since I stitched one of these... and I have different tastes and methods. Decided I did not want the circle of teal blue on the Learn one... it looks great as is. Listen is not one of my faves, but when it is hanging, it will look fine.

I am currently working on finishing a part of an old BAP called Sachet by Marc Davis (Needlemania), a gifted stitcher and blogging friend. He influenced me in how I stitched my Rosemarkie, as he did his in purple thread, but on white fabric. And he was the first one that ever mentioned Woodlawn to me, and we almost met there one year... Consequently, when I was picking fabric for Sachet, my LNS owner/friend was helping me choose colors. I wanted to do it in green. She showed me a wonderful green fabric, and we played around with threads till I settled on Grasshopper by then-Crescent Colours. When she was cutting the fabric, I asked the name of it, and it was 'Woodlawn'! How apropos! I really don't want to stitch the whole piece anymore, so have decided to just do the top band. I am nearly done. Then I will finish-finish it somehow, so I can display it year round. It is a pretty, non-seasonal piece. I will probably post the 'finish' later this week.

Now for the addition... I started a NEW Blog. For Birding... It is called...drum roll... Birding Devotee !! Clever eh? Pop on over and see the latest snapshots I have taken. I will share pictures that I take every day of my birding buddies. I have the date setting on the pictures now, so I can keep them straight! Me and my camera are getting well acquainted! The Birding Devotee blog is a work in progress right now, as I configure the background, add stuff, etc., so come back and see what is happening from time to time, or put it in your reader so you will be notified when I have a new post. I appreciate your visits and comments!

Hugs,

Maggee

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Something Interesting to Share...

Gee, I love it that some of you were intrigued by the fact that I had 'something interesting to share'... So, let me preface it first by saying... it's all about Birds!(If you don't care to read about birds, leave now, before you get sucked in--ha!!) I have loved watching birds, but my property is not especially conducive to doing this. I tried the side where our garden was, but it was too shady, the squirrels beat them to it, and eventually they stopped coming. I stopped for about a year... but... I still had the urge to watch them! So, last fall I took out the pole and a couple of my feeders, and put them at the corner of my house near the front. However, I did not ever see any birds there... and it was pretty darn hard to see the feeders there anyway... So, two weeks ago, I asked hubby to move the feeders to right in front of my office, as a last ditch effort. Well, that is a darn good spot! We have birds a LOT! I have to be careful about just walking in to my office tho, cause I startle and scare them away if they are eating. But, I have learned and have told everyone else in my house the same! So, location, location, location is the key! I have two mixed seed feeders, one thistle feeder and a suet cake. And here are pictures of my visitors:

First of all, the most prevalent birds to the seed feeders are House Finches. A group of them is called a 'development of finches'! The males have the red colors... And they ALL are very possessive and aggressive towards other birds!

But every now and then I see one or two American Goldfinches! In the Spring, they will be very bright yellow and black, but for now... they are a duller color combo. They don't stay long.

But occasionally I get a good shot.

And then, I started seeing these chickadees... At first I thought they were Black Capped Chickadees... but they aren't usually prevalent around our area. And these ones are more tan colored on their tummies. So, I searched and found that they are Carolina Chickadees... of course!!

At first I thought these birds were a different one, but found out that this is a female House Finch. We have LOTS of them visiting!

So, there are a few ground feeding birds around. This is one of them... And I have no idea what they are. They are bigger than a finch. Distinctive coloring on their feathers. Never go up to the feeders. Anyone have a name for them?

Another shot of the 'mystery bird'

And one last shot to help with ID.

And you can just IMAGINE my surprise and pleasure when this bird appeared!! It is a Red-bellied Woodpecker!! WooHoo! Did you see it in the background of the first Goldfinch photo above?? It chirps it's arrival, so if I am not watching... I know it is here because I hear it!

Here is how I found out it was a Red-bellied Woodpecker--see the red on it's belly?

I love seeing my Woodpecker!



It could be more than one visiting... not that good at comparing and such yet...



Another shot of the tummy...

Then I started seeing this little one, right after the Red-bellied one left, and I figured it was a juvenile, being allowed to go once mom or dad tested it out...

I did not see any red on it's head when I first started seeing this one, and was thinking it could be either be a Hairy Woodpecker or a Downy Woodpecker.



But TODAY I saw a spot of red on the back of it's head... Not able to catch a shot, but it is there...

So, it very possibly is a juvenile Red-bellied one.

Whatever it is, I sure am enjoying watching it at my suet feeder!

Well that is it for my 'Something Interesting'. I lead an exciting life, don't I? Ha!

If anyone can help with ID's, give me a shout here. I have to go study the differences between finches, wrens and sparrows now...

And I should finish the Blackbird piece tonite! Finally!!

Hugs,

Maggee

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Year End Tally and other exciting things

Well, it is 2015, and I hope that it is a good year for everyone. I am looking forward to new adventures in life and stitching!! So, in thinking along those lines, I did a quick tally of completed projects for 2014:

7 Big projects

16 Small projects

Considering the way 2014 went, I am amazed at those numbers. They include only stitching finishes... Not the sewing projects and blankets I made for Christmas presents. I'm happy with the totals.

For 2015 I just hope to get some stitching done! And maybe some sewing of new projects... I LOVE YouTube! You can find instructions on anything there!

I have my first Small finish for 2015. It is a little piece called Signs of Winter by Bent Creek. I did my very FIRST Colonial Knots for the eyes! Wow--they are super easy to do!! Makes a person rethink former taboos...





And I finished a large piece on the 1st of the Year--Jenny Bean's Christmas Sampler by Shakespeare's Peddler. That makes TWO of my languishing Christmas WIPs done! One to go!! Sorry, it is not yet ironed... Going in the drawer anyway, cause I can't frame it yet.



Plus I forgot to show a few last minute finishes, for ME! My first Tra La La stitches...



The pattern is called Duo Noel I think... this is the Bird...



And this is the sheep



I laced each one, and the backings (same for each one), laced the fronts and backs together, and did the rusched ribbon around the edges, fastening it with gold pins. Love the look! But now I need more gold pins! Ha!

I am going to JOIN a group for 2015. I always say I won't do this, but... this group is going to help me keep moving, slow but sure, on pieces I really do want to complete! It is called the 2015 Turtle Trot. Basically, we share a piece we decided to work on in 2015 on every tenth day of the month. Progress is progress... I will give it a try! My friend Katie did this last year, and it intrigued me enough to join in this year! We shall see... My list of projects will be as follows:

1: Tulip Garden SAL (in progress)

2: Maryse Dupont's SAL from 2014 (in progress)

3: Jardin Prive's 2014 SAL of 'The Way to Happiness' (new start)

4: Christmas Garden by Blackbird (new start)

5: Song of Spring by Blackbird (in progress)

6: Spread the Love by Lizzie Kate (do-over)

7: Holly Sampler (three parts) by Lizzie Kate (new start)

8: Jane Austen SAL piece from 2014 (new start)

9: Little Miss Peepers by Little House Needleworks (new start)

10: Finish the Lizzie Kate Double Flips from a LONG time ago! (in progress since....)

So, for todays Turtle Trot Post, I have been working on Song of Spring by Blackbird. It was a kit from the 2013 Ladies Prim Society. I am about halfway done, but I have determined to finish it this weekend... Here is my progress so far:



And on that note, I am heading upstairs to stitch a little. I will post again soon, cause I have something interesting to share...

Hugs,

Maggee

Friday, December 26, 2014

Framed Campfire at Pine Lake picture

Okay--here is the framed piece that I stitched for my son-in-love, Abe. He loves it, and is pondering where to hang it! Due to lighting restraints, you cannot see that the entire frame is black, but there is a gold ring inside it. Sets it off beautifully!



Off to stitch... yay!

Hugs,

Maggee

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas!! (and catch-up stuff--picture heavy)

Whoa! The time has just flown by... but finally I can post and share. I need to go back to Thanksgiving, because I received an 'early' Christmas gift from my oldest daughter and her family when they came up the Tuesday before... they got tickets for me and Jessee to see Mannheim Steamroller in concert in my area!!!





The concert was AWESOME! They are quite entertaining... We had really good seats, but because we got there about 5 minutes late...(due to rain and traffic) we had to wait to go down to them. So, when we DID go to our seats, they were in the middle of a row and we had to disturb quite a few people to get to them. I saw two end seats two rows ahead and 'suggested' to the usher that we take those until someone comes along wanting their seats back or... So we did, the new seats were just as great (about 8 from the front, close enough to get 'snowed on' during one song!) and we had a great time! I never ever expected anyone to remember that YEARS ago when they came, and a work friend went, I was bemoaning about missing it, cause I didn't know soon enough, plus the tickets were SO expensive... But apparently Jessee did remember that!

Now on to December... I have been busy sewing and making Christmas gifts for family and friends, in between LIFE. Without further delay, here are some pictures:

For my daughter Tracy, who did not get one last year... and felt left out...(I did not think she would like them... go figure!)

For Tracy's husband, AJ, tho for the life of me, I cannot get it to show straight!!!



This is my first attempt at a Pillowcase for my oldest granddaughter, Tori, who is 19 and likes purple... (grrr again... so sorry!)



For my second granddaughter, Maghen, who is 16...



For my third granddaughter, Kenzie, who is 14...



And for my youngest/4th granddaughter, Olivia, who is 4... (By now, I really like making these pillowcases... they have french seams which were interesting to do... but I LOVE YouTube tutorials!



I also tried my hand at making Project bags. This one went to a stitching buddy, Sheryl...



Not bad for the first try! I will do more with them in the New Year.



And I made my first lined bag. Can't remember whose stitched piece that is... but it was a fun, easy stitch. Went to another stitching friend, Darlene...



The lining...Love this ticking fabric! Got it in a couple of colors.



Made this cute little ornament, a freebie by San Man Originals. To another stitching friend, Patti.



The back of the San Man ornament...



And stitched this pattern on an overdyed fabric I received at PALS last year. Not sure of the count, but it was interesting to stitch on. I laced it...



And also laced the back, then put them together, laced them and used a piece of antique lace for the outside edging, interspersed with purple pins. For Sheryl...



Closeup of the top details...



Stitched a couple more ornaments...Peppermint Paul on the left and a freebie on the right (sorry, forgot to get the name)--for Sheryl and her husband, Paul...



The backs...

And I was GOING to show the framed Campfire picture, but it is sideways too, and I just don't want to show it that way... However, it is wrapped and under the tree right now, so I will have to show it after Christmas! The problem is some of these pictures were taken with the iphone and they are not compatible with blogger! Grrrrr...Moving on...

Next are some gifts or exchanges I have received. Without further ado...

Shirlee and I did a personal ornament exchange this year again. The next few pictures are what I received from Shirlee...(I totally neglected to take pictures of what I SENT to Shirlee, so, unless she shares... you have to trust that I sent some nice things!)



The entire contents of the package from Shirlee...



An ENTIRE set of floss from Sullivan's. In Spring colors! I can hardly wait to start using them... They are new to me. Feel kind of silky...



The stitched ornament, which is by Little House Needleworks I believe. Love the color! It is flawlessly finished.



The back of the ornament... really cute homespun-type fabric...love it!



Two little notepads, one of which has been in use since the day I opened the package!! I write notes everywhere, about everything!



This little mirror is so Adorable--it went right in my purse. Tho I might take it from there, because I rarely see it... May have to pose it somewhere... I love the birds! And the saying!



The lovely sparkly Christmas card and some scented hand lotion are next.



And a chart by The Cat's Whiskers called Noel...Naturally, and white Dinky Dyes silk to use. I am thinking I will stitch that on Christmas, when all the festivities have slowed down...

Next are a couple of stitched gifts from other friends...



This Lizzie Kate design is stitched by my friend Maureen. Didn't she do a fabulous job? She has been a busy bee this year, stitching many lovely ornaments!



The back



Cute little penguin (I also like penguins!) stitched by Sheryl and on one of those little sleds by Foxwood Crossing that everyone is using this year.

I did some thrifting recently, and wanted to share two items that I really, really like...



Found this Nativity set at a local antique mall. It really caught my eye--I just had to have it! And I do!



And found this angel at one of our local thrift stores... There are so many cute things about this angel... I love copper, and her wings are copper. She has yarn hair. And her arms move. Plus she is simple, plain but the message is to the point! Hanging on my office door!

I am winding down now... just wanted to share my FAVORITE ornament that is ALWAYS on my tree...The little Cupie Angel that my mother made for me a long time ago! She crocheted the little dress and wings. Love love love it!



So that's it... I finished just in time, cause I need to sit and relax now for a bit before I go to bed... So nice not to have much left to do! Just start cooking...

I wish all of my friends in blogland a Very Merry Christmas! I'll be back after Christmas!



Hugs,

Maggee