January 28, 2013

1st 2013 WIPocolypse Post

I had hoped to get a bit more stitched in my current block of Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow this weekend but I was paying attention to an exchange gift that's supposed to be mailed out on Feb. 1.  I'm a bit behind...

Anyway, I made great progress this month on the only WIPocolypse project I worked on for any length of time.  The photo above is where I was at the end of December and below is where I left off the last time I stitched on this piece.

I am thinking about switching WIPocolypse pieces for February but I'm making such good progress on this block, I'm not sure I should.   I have a few more days to decide.

I did give one Sunday to my HAED piece so here are photos for that.  Where I was at the end of December...

And after the UFO Sunday stitching I did at the beginning of the month....
I will be picking this up again on Sunday because it will be another 1st Sunday of the month already.

January 26, 2013

52 Weeks of Happy-Week 4

This week has been an extremely cold one in my part of the world so many of my happies this week had to do with staying warm!

First up are my long johns and wool socks.  Walking the dog without these would be so unbearable.  I've pretty much lived in them because it takes so long to warm up after being outside for any length of time. 

The good thing is that there was quite a bit of sunshine during the week.  This is the view out of my window at work. I am looking forward to when we can sit outside and have lunch again.

And a coworker gifted me with this wonderful soup for dinner on Thursday evening so I didn't have to make anything and it was so delicious.

And finally today, there was an unexpected trip into Boston with the chance to see my oldest niece and have lunch with some of my favorite people. A pilgrimage was made to Georgetown Cupcakes on Newbury Street for some yummy goodness.  These were shared between four of us so I didn't eat them all myself!

I hope you had a great week and that there were many happy moments for you!

January 23, 2013

IHSW Progress

So this past weekend was the first International Hermit Stitching Weekend of 2013 and I did get some stitching in on Sunday.  I managed to stitch the horse and cart plus a bit more snow in my current block. 

I am pretty pleased with the progress on this piece although there's still quite a bit more to go.  I'm doubting I will be able to finish it by the end of the month but I am taking Friday off so maybe I can make some progress.  But I do need to finish an exchange piece by February 1st so that's got to be my first priority.  I'm doing a small Valentine's exchange with some ladies from an email group I belong to so I won't be able to share my choice until later next month.  I'm off to give it some more attention!

January 21, 2013

A Must See

On Saturday I went to see the needlework exhibit at the Saco Museum.  If you are a sampler lover and anywhere within reasonable driving distance, I urge you to go see this exhibit if you can.  I went in expecting maybe a dozen samplers and was totally floored by the volume and variety of pieces hanging at this tiny (but mighty) museum.

There were easily 30 or more pieces of embroidery with accompanying histories on display and so well curated.  I am somewhat familiar with the sampler making schools in Massachusetts and Rhode Island but not with Maine's.  Who knew?  There were samplers and needlework pieces on display from "schools" in the Maine/New Hampshire border areas, Saco, Portland, Augusta, Bath, Downeast (Machais!!) and even in the southwestern part of the state.  I definitely got much more than I expected.

There is such a lovely variety including many examples of genealogy samplers/family histories and some memorial pieces as well but many, many wonderful examples of schoolgirl samplers.  I spent well over 2 hours reading the placards and viewing the display.  There were not many people viewing so I didn't feel pressured to move along or feel crowded which was great.

It was unbelievably impressive to stand in the middle of the room and just gaze at the many pieces created in the late 1700s and early 1800s of what was even then a very sparsely populated state.  I imagine the sea trade made it possible for teachers and students to travel up and down the coast from Boston and other areas. 

There is a great gallery talk scheduled for Friday at 6:30 where the curator of the exhibit will speak.  I'm going to try to get there.  There are additional talks on Friday, February 15 and on Thursday, February 21st at 11:00am there is a "stitching for beginners and beyond" event (February school vacation here).

Go, Go, GO I say!  You will appreciate the trip and the bounty of works on display.

January 19, 2013

52 Weeks of Happy - Week 3

This was a pretty busy week and I had to remind myself a few times to focus on what makes me happy.  Here are some of the things that made the list this week.

Meeting Barbara in Belfast to stitch together on a grey Sunday afternoon.

My new bangs which I cut back in on the same day that Michele Obama debuted hers.  I'm not sure who had theirs done first but I guess great minds think alight right?  I'm so much happier with my hair right now.

The smell (and taste!) of fresh baked brownies.  I had to make them for a meeting potluck.  I have started baking them in my muffin tin because they come out cute and easy to eat as well.

And finally, a completed sweater sleeve.  I finished it last night and went to my LNS to pick up another skein to start the other sleeve tonight.  I hope to have this done by next weekend but we'll see how that goes.  It should definitely be done by the end of the month - and wearable!!

I hope you found things that made you happy this week.  I had an timely quote in my 2013 quote a day calendar my niece gave me - "Happiness is mostly a by-product of doing what makes us feel fulfilled" by Benjamin Spock.  I hope you have fulfilling things in your life that are helping you stay happy.

Don't forget to sign up for my giveaway too - that will make at least one winner happy.  The draw is open until January 31.

January 17, 2013

January Give Away

It's time for a little giveaway I think.  It's just past the middle of January and we still have a good three months left to go of winter (at least here in Maine) so everyone should welcome a bright spot right?  I've gone through my stash and have pulled a few things to be able to do several giveaways.

The first one contains the following: "Garden Walk" by My Mark, Sampler Pillow Cover #48 by The Needle's Content, a fat quarter of 32 ct. Zweigart Mulberry Belfast linen and some threads by Valdani, Olde Willow Stitchery and Watercolors.  A few more things may get added before it gets sent out.

Here's how to participate:  Leave me a post telling me your best coping technique for getting through grey winter days.  I will randomly pick a winner on January 31st from those leaving a reply to this post.  Maybe the hope of being a winner will help you get through the rest of the month of January and we'll be that much closer to spring!

January 15, 2013

Sunday Stitching

On Sunday Barbara and I met up in Belfast for a stitching day which we had not done in quite a long while.  It was great to see her and even better to get to meet Max, her oldest.  What a nice, TALL young man Barbara is raising.  Max wandered around Belfast while Barbara and I stitched and caught up and then we all had lunch together.  It was a perfect day for sitting and stitching because it was wicked foggy out and not exactly great weather for wandering around town. 

I was able to make some great progress on the snow in my current Christmas@HRH block.  I have to say I do not love the thread but I'm using what's called for so I'll have to stick it out for the rest of the blocks.  It's a Silk n Colors skein called Mint Frost but I'm not enjoying the greenish tinge (the mint part of the color I guess).

January 13, 2013

If You're In the Area - Local Needlework Exhibit

A while back I ran across something somewhere about a needlework exhibit coming to a local museum in January.  Luckily, I went straight to the museum's website and printed off what information was there because my memory is lousy these days and I was afraid I would forget about it.  In the almost 8 years I've lived in Maine, this is the first exhibit I found out about in enough time to go. 

I know there is a history of needlework in Maine and I believe there is some needlework on display at a museum in York but I've not done much to seek it out.  I am definitely going to visit this one though. I thought I would share it in case your in the area and didn't hear about it.  I'm hoping to get there this coming weekend.

January 12, 2013

52 Weeks of Happy-Week 2

I saw this great idea here and here and so I'm going to practice focusing on happiness in 2013 as well.  I believe the movement started here.  Care to join us?

Here's what made me happy this second week of the year.

My neatly organized desk this morning.  I should have taken a picture of the before - it was bad!  I feel so much happier when I see organization around my house rather than piles of clutter.  I'm going to be trying really hard this year to keep it organized.

A happy pup.  A dear friend called this week to share that her beloved companion had passed away unexpectedly last week and I'm so thankful for my happy hound.  Just knowing he's there to come home to this week has made me happy.

Seeing my sweater sleeve grow has made me very happy this week.  I hope to finish it by the end of next week so I can start on the other one.

There are two things in this photo that make me happy which I didn't realize when I took the photo.  The first is that pile of library books waiting to be read.  It's a grey, gloomy day here today and as soon as I'm finished with the housework, I'm going to dive into one of these!

The other is my purse which I bought as a Christmas gift to myself in 2011.  I carry it every day and although I still can't find anything in it when I need it, it makes me happy every time I see it because I love it a year later.

I hope you are happy today and even if you're not, look around and focus on what does make you happy because I'm sure if you try hard enough, no matter what your situation is, they are out there and hopefully, focusing on those will take your mind off of things that might not be so cheerful.  Happy Saturday!

January 11, 2013

January TUSAL

Boy, my January TUSAL photo looks kind of meager doesn't it?  I took a close up photo to be sure you could actually see that there are a few threads in there. 

Since the start of the year, I've been stitching on CHS Christmas at HRH and my HAED Story Keeper so you see a mix of colors in the bottom of the jar.  I guess it will take a while to get it looking a bit plumper than today's photo.

Okay, everyone lean to the right!  it is so frustrating when Blogger won't add your photos with the right orientation.  Here ismy progress on Christmas @ HRH.  There is a LOT of stitching on this particular square.  And I don't even want to think about the next one. 
I really have a yen to start a new project after looking at some of the new things coming out online.  I absolutely adore Paulette Stuart's new piece but I think I will go stash diving and pick something out that won't cost me any money.  Happy Friday!!!

January 8, 2013

Not so sleeveless any more

While watching the most awesome Alabama Crimson Tide play Notre Dame last night, I decided I would knit rather than stitch as I knew my concetration would be focused on the game.  I was really nervous at the start due to all the pre-game hype that had been going on but I shouldn't have been.  Bama was just doin' its usual thing and playing good ball.  They are such a great team and I look forward to the start of college ball again in September.  Roll Tide!!

As a result of the rather uneventful game, I was able to add some substantial yardage to my first sleeve.  I had to start a new ball of yarn and I'm not sure I'm happy with the results as it added a rather larger band of blue than the previous skein's knitting showed.  However, when I look at the pictures, there is a larger area of blue in the upper shoulder area so maybe it will be okay.

Here is a more close up photo that shows the colors more truly.  I am going to have to go into Portland this weekend and pick up the additional skein I hope they are still holding for me as I won't have enough to finish the other sleeve.  I can't wait to start wearing this sweater because it's going to be so warm and cozy.

January 7, 2013

ROLL TIDE!!! oh and some UFO stitching.

Well, tonight's the night and I'm ready to cheer on my favorite SEC team against ND.  Although the largest part of my heart belongs to my Alma mater Buckeyes, who were undefeated this year also, they are ineligible for bowl game play.  That leaves my conscience free to root for my most favorite of all the SEC teams (I enjoy watching them all play), the Alabama Crimson Tide.  Roll Tide, Roll Tide I say - all the way to the win tonight. 

I will probably be knitting on my sweater sleeve while watching the game because I made some great progress UFO stitching yesterday.  Here is where I started

And here's where I stopped.  The 3rd column was predominately one color for much of the time so I stuck with DMC 931 and made some visible progress.  I think I will make this a focus piece for Sunday stitching this month.

This is what it will look like (a long time into the future) once it's completed.  I love the design even though it is not my usual stitching style and I am not a fan of blue!  But I think because I'm such a reader, this design appealed to me. 

January 5, 2013

Bowl Game Stitching

I've managed to make some visible progress on my CHS C@HRH piece today.  I was watching Ole Miss beat Pittsburgh.  I'm not sure what I'll do when Monday night is over as I've been basically parked in front of the TV on Saturday's watching college ball as much as possible. 

I guess it will mean more visits to Redbox to rent movies.  Tonight I watched Hope Springs with Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones.  It was as good as I expected it to be. I worked on my sweater while watching the movie and made some progress on the first sleeve.  I would really like to have the sweater done by the end of the month.

Tomorrow is UFO Sunday and I've already pulled out the project bag for my HAED piece.  I hope to get at least 200 stitches into it tomorrow.

January 3, 2013

Off to a good stitching start...

I've been trying to stitch a bit each day while watching the various college bowl games.  I chose to start off the year with a WIPocolypse project and picked up CHS Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow.  I am finding that my eyesight seems to have gotten a bit worse since the last time I picked up this piece.  I've definitely need to increase the magnification of my cheaters!

I hope your new year has started of with some great stitching too.  I'm off to try and catch up with some blog reading and see what everyone else is up to.

January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

This is my new Linnea calendar for 2013.  I hope you had a wonderful New Year's Eve celebration where ever you celebrated and that your day has been a good start to 2013.  I've been watching college bowl games, reading a bit, stitching a bit and lazing a bit - an all around good day!