Saturday, November 18, 2017

A Christmas Cardinal Finish

I finished my Christmas cardinal stitch today.

I didn't go the route I had planned in my head. I am sharing the finished product tonight and my thoughts on why I ended up where I did with it.

This is the front.

It is about 9 inches in diameter.

Sorry for the poor photos. I just finished it a little while ago, and it is dark in the sewing room with a glaring light right above it. I will take better photos when I actually display it. 

*You may notice the hanging piece at the top. I had originally planned to mount it on something. More about that in a minute.

I didn't want to frame it because of the beading. The beading is amazing and in my opinion makes it a really special piece. There are red beads for the berries and white beads on the snowflakes. Again, my photos don't do it any justice.

Hubby voted for framing. I was so determined to do something different. I really do like this frame. It  does not have glass and if I am being totally honest this frame is more my real and true style.

So back to what I came up with. I first mounted it on sticky board. This is how I do this. I put the stitch on the sticky side and then use miniature clothes pins to hold it down until it dries. I have had the clothes pins forever, and they are perfect for this task.

It turns out those pieces sticking up (puckers) were perfect for later when I was putting the ruffle on.

For the ruffle, I folded a piece in half and pressed, then gathered on the machine.

I used straight pins to stick it in place to work with the ruffle. Those pins went neatly in the puckers. I was then able to adjust it.

Now, back to some of my struggles. I purchased two fabrics; one a brighter red gingham which is the shade of red I really like and the second a homespun more muted red gingham. 

The muted one didn't photograph well at all, because trust me it was the better choice.

I made the first ruffle out of the bright red and just had it pinned on. I wasn't satisfied. Hubby walked in and said it was the wrong color. It was cute, but it was just the wrong hue and it worked against the stitching. The brighter gingham actually took away from the birds, especially the female.

I made the new ruffle, and then I was just stumped. I liked the ruffle. I just didn't know where to go from there. I walked away from it and thought about it all week. I have had a busy week hence, no posts.

Y'all nothing seemed right. I have pondered it all week. I love the stitch, but what was I going to do with it and where was I going to display it. I have run through a million ideas.

This is where I went back to the framing thinking I should have gone with that. I think the problem is that I am inspired by what we used to call country, now it is farmhouse, but I don't have that kind of house. I really love that look and had it many years ago. I think this piece plastered on a piece of wood would look great at the farmhouse, but that isn't where I want it. I want it here in a home which is a bit less country and more traditional, and I am happy with that style in the present time.

As you can see, I am an analyzer. Probably, I over analyze. 

With all that said, I ended up just backing it with a hanger. I am not sure where it will end up hanging ---I am thinking in my kitchen. We will see after Thanksgiving when I get my Christmas decorating started.

I actually took all my Thanksgiving down today, since I am having Thanksgiving at the farmhouse. I thought I could use a breather for a few days before I put up Christmas.

Here is the front and back...

I will hopefully not be away all week this next one. Mom had a dental procedure this week. She is quite a trooper, but hasn't felt all that well. I have spent some time with her. Hopefully, by the beginning of this week she will be back to herself. She has dressing to make and I am watching again this year. I need to learn. Hers is the best ever. 

Speaking of Mother, she made me a Christmas afghan. I can't wait to add it in somewhere this year.

That is all for me tonight. 

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. Psalms 118:1

Monday, November 13, 2017

A Fun Weekend

Our family of Auburn fans had a great weekend. Jeff and I headed up early Friday to Auburn. Paul Allen stayed home with the dogs. Lindsay and Tyler came up late Friday evening.

This weekend was one of our biggest games of the year. Auburn vs Georgia. Auburn is close to the Georgia state line so there are so many Auburn grads from Georgia as well as families that have both Auburn and Georgia grads. It has always been one of my two favorite games. In a way it is my favorite rivalry because for me the Alabama game is just a little too intense and the Georgia games seems a bit more just like a rival game should be. For those outside the Deep South, you probably think we are nuts about our football here in the South. I would say yes, we are.

Jeff and I met our good friends who we have been friends with forever. They now live in north Alabama but have a place in Auburn, so we were able to visit with them Friday. We went to an equestrian match and then out to eat and then just visited. We got out to our cabin just before Lindsay and Tyler got there.

Tyler feels about the Georgia game the way I do about the Alabama game. When you have family members to rub it in 364 days of the year which happens you feel the intensity a bit more. Tyler's mom and all her sisters plus his twin brother all went to Georgia. However, his dad is a Georgia Tech grad and Tyler grew up a Tech fan. It wasn't until his senior year that he chose to come to Auburn. I am so glad he did, because he is a perfect match for Lindsay. His dad was pulling hard for Auburn on Saturday evening:)

Auburn came out on top this time and it was an exciting game.

Jeff and Tyler played golf Sunday morning early before we all headed home.

Paul Allen kept us posted on the dogs and Katie helped out some.

I will share a stitching finish this week sometime, but here are some photos of the weekend.

At the cabin before we left to go into town for the game.

A closeup.

Celebrating at Toomer's Corner.


Hallie (Lindsay's dog), Gus, and Lemony all enjoying eggs. They get far too much to eat when he is here.

Lemony never gets in that chair. Apparently she was done with Gus and seeking help from Katie.
This morning--- a picture of Jeff and Gus. I forgot to get Gus's 5 month old photo last week, so this will have to be it.

See y'all later in the week with a little cross stitch update.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Cardinals Christmas Stitch Completed

I have to share my finish today. I am so excited with it. I finished the Silent Night Cardinals by Stoney Creek Collection this morning. I was so close last night, but just had to stop.

This morning I put on the last of the beads.

I started this last year before Christmas and didn't finish. In fact, I was sure I had made a mistake and got a little frustrated. I just had to put it away. For some reason, I delayed getting it back out all year even when I was doing Christmas stitching in July. I think I may have made a small mistake in the male cardinal, but I was able to pull it all together.

I stitched it on 28 count smokey pearl Cashel linen with all DMC colors but one. In fact, it was charted with DMC colors and didn't have the specialty colors attached to it except one. The branches had The Gentle Arts Walnut for them.

The snowflakes and star have a special stitch mixed with DMC.  I was apprehensive about using it since I hate metallic threads, but this one was great. It is called Glissengloss rainbow blending thread. I go it from 123 Stitch. It was much easier to work with than metallic DMC.

The other thing I loved was the beading. I thought that might be hard to do, but it was quite easy other than the beads roll, it is time to clean up all the ones that fell on the floor. They were also purchased from 123 Stitch. They are glass seed beads.

Of course it is not perfect. I really goofed that star, but overall I am in love with it. I don't plan to frame it because of the beads. I am going to have to plan the finish now.

I had all done except the snowflakes and star on Friday evening. I knew I would not be able to find the special blending thread or beads here in town, so I put in an order to 123 Stitch around 5:00. The order arrived Monday in the mail. That is on par with Amazon. I love that place. I love to buy local when I can, but there is no local here, so 123 Stitch for the win!!!

Bring on Thanksgiving and then Christmas. I am most grateful that I pulled my cross stitching back out after so many years. I have fallen in love with it all over.

I love cardinals. I have a pair that hangs out near my sewing room window. I love watching them.

Stay tuned for the finish.


Friday, November 3, 2017

A Little Stitching and More

I am struggling with believing it is already November and that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. I am quite sure the person who decided to make the illustration of a  clock with wings way back when was over 50. I know it is traveling much faster these days.

I am starting to plan my Thanksgiving. I added a few things to my shopping list this week to take to the farmhouse this weekend. I have to be very organized to pull off a meal like that away from home.

It is also time to Christmas shop too. When my kids were younger they were much easier to shop for. Now, they just want big ticket items and Hubby is still a person who wants them to open lots of things. I am trying to get my mind wrapped around that as well.

I worked real hard this week on my schedule. I am working on using those small chunks of time. I put together a list of cleaning tasks that I can tackle when I have small amounts of time between seeing about others in my family. It has worked this, can I get it going on a long term basis.

Mama is still puny. Better, but puny. I took her to Target yesterday but had to get her home right away. She was spent. She didn't eat much last night either. She can't afford to not eat.

I have stitched a bit this week. I pulled out my Christmas cardinals this week. I couldn't finish it for last Christmas and had just put it back. I was worried I wouldn't be motivated to finish it, but I actually tackled a good bit of this week.

I still have a ways to go. Border and lots of beading.

I am still working on the dogs for my son. I got the duck started this week.

I loved this picture of Lemony and Gus that I was able to capture on the driveway. I had been doing laundry and had the door open. I wanted to get closer, but I was afraid Gus would move.

Doing just what my big sister does. ---Gus

Have a great weekend,

Monday, October 30, 2017

A Crafty Update

Thanks for all the kind thoughts about Mama yesterday. We went in early yesterday to the doctor. She has a middle ear infection. She let it get bad before she went, so she has been in quite a bit of pain. I honestly have trouble knowing how sick Mom is sometimes. She has difficulty relaying what is going on with her and she will not go to the doctor until she says it is time whether that is too late or too early.

I went over every couple of hours yesterday to check on her. Everyone feels better in their own bed when they are sick. I am hoping she will be better today, but I think it will take a few days to get those ear drops working.

Yesterday was a perfect example of what I was talking about with my time management. I never know when my days are going to get turned upside down. For awhile I moaned and groaned, because I like routine. I crave routine in fact, but it is not to be. With my list making of how I spent my time, I saw that I just had to make a plan to work with where my life is right now.

I have made a few lists with those 15 to 30 minutes times in my day in mind. Rather than throw up my hands that my day gets turned upside down, I am trying to maximize those small amounts of time. Yesterday, I did just that and actually surprised myself at what I accomplished and took good care of Mom too.

Now, for some crafty stuff I have been up too.

I collected some leaves at the cabin way back in the summer. I had in mind making my own botanical prints. I have come across botanicals in about three different blogs that I just really liked. I have absolutely no place for them in the house, but they would be perfect at the cabin or the farm.

I took the leaves and placed them in between some thick paper towels and stacked books on top of them and left them for quite a long time. I never took the time to do anything with them. They sat on the corner of my work counter in the sewing room. The other day I thought to myself ---it is time to do something with them. Not really wanting to spend much money, I went to Walmart for frames and found these for less than $8.00 a piece. I had the art paper. I adhered them with rubber cement. I am not out much if they don't last.

My plan is to hang them in the cabin since they are all leaves from there. I have a smaller set of three also. I am waiting on some frames for them from Amazon. Again a good deal on them.

When I get them hung, I will share again. I will go in a couple of weeks for a ball game.

I finally finished the Christmas piece.

I am almost finished with the Nutcracker. I have three more to do in the set. I don't know if I will get them all done by Christmas this year or not. My plan is to add red cording around the edge.

I use small clothespins to hold things together when waiting for glue to dry.

When I do red jackets, I will do a red stripe background with blue cording.

I plan to redo the cording. It takes a bit of practice. When I think I have mastered it I will add it to the ornament and then share my thoughts on how difficult it is to do. I am not the best at things such as this, but I think it is something I can figure out.

Oh and my pecans...there is no way I can leave good pecans on the ground. It is just not in me, so I hope to go back on Thursday and crack a few and see if there are some I can pick up.

Oh, and I have to share later a Christmas afghan Mom crocheted for me. I also I need to share some doggie pictures. Gus is growing like crazy. I will stop for now...


Pecans, Time, and Cording

I am going to try and get out a quick post this morning on things I have been doing.

First up is pecans... well, mostly just farm talk. I haven't been to the farm much at all this fall. Football season has kept me away. There wasn't as much grass to cut, so I let Jeff attend to everything. This weekend I went up with mom (who is still sickly and I am headed to the doctor with her this morning). I went out to check on the pecan trees. You may remember that they haven't produced since we purchased the farm two years ago. This summer I noticed lots of blooms up there. It rained lots here, but not as much inland, so I wasn't sure if that helped or not. I missed the deadline to fertilize.

I picked up pecans under three of them. It appeared that they were all skinny and dried up...duds. I have done my research. Two things I have discovered from my little research yesterday is that they are nutrient deficient and if it doesn't rain in August and September that they will be shriveled as that is the months they fill out.

Mother found a piece of paper with my grandma's handwriting on it with instructions on fertilize proportions. My plan is to do that this year ON TIME. Jeff keeps telling me I don't want 100 pecan trees producing at one time.

Anyway, as I got them home I started cracking a few more. Some of them were good, so my plan is to go back one day this weekend. I am going to go around and crack a sampling from the trees and if I find a good tree I will pick up the rest from that tree.

The ones I collected will be used for decorations this November. I thought a little Mason jar full with some brown and green ribbons would be cute. I can used them on my Thanksgiving table.

Mother. She has been sickly between tooth and ear. I don't think they are related as the ear has been an issue for a good while. The tooth got hot and bothered after some dental work. The tooth situation is scheduled to be fixed in two weeks, but we are headed to immediate care this morning for the ear.

Time Management... I realize even though I am retired that I seem to have a bit on my plate. Some of which is self made. Trying to own a piece of farm land, having season football tickets, a large home, two adult kids that I still dote on, an aging mother, and taking care of my husband and myself's health by being making sure most of our meals are home cooked is a lot. Even as I type it I know that is kind of insane. Jeff and I have been talking lots lately about making some changes after the first of the year. oh, and throw in getting a puppy. I really must be insane, but he is so cute.

All of that to say, I decided I must be wasting time somehow as I seemed to never get my to do list done which causes stress. I decided to do a detailed list of where my time was going a couple of weeks ago. What came out of it was that most of my days are chopped up with duties. I don't seem to have too many of those blocks of time I crave. Even if I think I have them scheduled in, mom calls upset about something or other family members need help with something.

I decided to think on that and came up with this. I have to learn how to make the most of 15 or 20 minutes and make those short blocks of time scattered throughout the week. I am trying to do just that. I may share more on this later as I am about to get dressed to take mom to the doctor.

Stitching --- A post is coming on that soon. I have been stitching in the evenings and yesterday I tried my hand out at making the cording that Vonna at The Twisted Stitcher does so beautifully. I haven't quite got it mastered, but I am way closer after giving it some time yesterday.

The red is the color I think I will go with and no this is not how it will look. I have figured out better than this.

Forgive me for any mistakes. I have no time to proof it...
Say a prayer for Mama if you will and I will be back sooner this week than later.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A Little More about the Decorating Book

I wish I had something to share with my stitching, but I was busy all day yesterday with some family stuff. I also have to take Mama back to the dentist today...oh boy!

I am still working on my doggie set for my son and I worked on a possible craft or a possible dud last night that may or not be ever seen. We will see!

Here is my progress on the dog.

RJ from Stitching Friends Forever asked to see a bit more of the decorating book that I mentioned yesterday. I always hate to say how much I love something that you have to buy, because I am ever mindful how we can be influenced reading these blogs to buy something, but ON THE OTHER HAND...I have learned so much and had great recommendations from my blog friends.

I took a few photos of the book A Place to Call Home by James Farmer. All are just with my phone since I have a busy day ahead.

This first one is the dining room of the author's home. These photos are in its everyday state, but it was featured on Southern Living's blog for Christmas. It was so pretty. Where the fiddle leaf figs are stood Christmas trees. He has an amazing garden and has quite the green thumb.

Here is the link to the feature on the Southern Living website at Christmas...

To the left of the table.

To the right of the table.

A few more photos of the book..

There was lots of grasscloth on the walls. I have said before no matter how much wallpaper comes back in is not happening here... lots of pulling down pink and blue 1980's wallpaper in the home I live in now...NO!!!!

I stuck the next page in because I loved his description of the "waller room." His grandmother coined the room that needs to be in every home where children and grandchildren watch TV. They don't sit ---they wallered or lounged lazily.

I am sharing a white kitchen. Those of you have read me for a long time know I am not a white kitchen person...probably the only lady in America who is not, BUT this one is swoon worthy. I think there is enough wood grain to suit me.

Another white kitchen to swoon over is Stacey's at Poofing the Pillows. Few white kitchens stop me to look further, but hers is a stopper!!!

I do really like this one!

Another bedroom...

I loved this room.. It is the wood ---I love my wood!!!

And I still love formal dining rooms even though they are not vogue anymore.

That is a sampling of the book.

Now, to share two more from my collection...RJ, you got me started.

I have had this book since 1984.

It is still one of my favorites. 
This kitchen would still tickle my fancy even though it is not in style...or that outfit.

Needs some hardware on the cabinets though.
This room could still be in style minus the chairs.

AND one more book...

While shopping in Pine Mountain, Georgia back in the summer, I came upon this decorating book. I did not pay $35. for it. It was in a box of books at an antique store.

I just loved it. It was published in 1999. It featured all of us crazy dog lovers that collect dog stuff. It was all tasteful pictures, not gaudy.

Of course, that Springer on the front had me at first glance. Here are a couple from it.

I love the painting, the dogs on the mantle, and the pillow.

Maybe not the picture above the couch, but yes to the lounging doggies.

Ok...hope you enjoyed the tour of books.
Off to get busy with my day.