Friday, March 28, 2014

Back on Track

Back on track with the puffs.  I still think 3 is too many per day.  At least if I want to get anything else done.  Other than those dishcloths and dish towel the other day, I don't think I finished anything in March!  No wonder I've been feeling like a bit of a craft slog lately.

I was so excited yesterday when I finished working on the Save the Stitches piece.  Until I broke out the camera and took this picture and noticed the one little area of cross stitch I neglected to get done.  Oh well, it won't affect the parts that I'm supposed to be working on in March, so it can wait until April to get done.  I will be working on this instead of the Siren and the Shipwreck project tomorrow so I'm ready for April's blocks.

It feels like it's taking forever and a day to get these Chrysanthemum mittens done.  I figure I need to do at least 16 rounds on this each evening in order to get them done before March ends.  Even then, I might be pushing it to get those thumbs added.

Not much crafting will get accomplished today as it is a day of appointments.  First was the hair appointment for cut/color for me this morning (yay!  I'm red again), then this afternoon we had an appointment at the bank.  Just got home and ate a bit of dinner and now moving on to watching some TV and working on puffs.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Renewed Motivation and April Sneek Peak

It's amazing the effect finishing something, or making noticeable progress on a project can have on your motivation.  It took mere minutes to finish this applique dishtowel using my sewing machine, but those few minutes were enough to renew my craft energy.  It was like downing a Red Bull lol.

The best part about doing this on the machine instead of by hand is that the back side looks nice too.  Not that the back side looks bad when doing it by hand, but you don't get this nice outline like the machine gives.  Working on this reminded me that I had purchased some towels to be used for applique for myself when I spied them on clearance several months ago.  I did a quick Google search for clip art for chickens and printed a few off that were the right style and size.  My applique fabric stash is already out, so now I just need to dig around to find those towels.  I will gather all the supplies up in a bag and have it ready for a sewing/quilting project for April.  Since they won't take but an afternoon to complete, they should kick start my month off right!

3 puffs completed for yesterday.  Doing 3 puffs each day is a bit much, so I am going to alter my game plan for this in April.  I'm thinking of making a duplicate stitch puff each day, and sewing 5 puffs together each day.

It was nice to work on the Chrysanthemum mitten again.  I'm ready to start the flower so might yet get this done in March.  I've got another mitten pattern in my queue that meets the criteria for April (for the Stash Down A to Z group), Daylily mittens.  If I get those done, I'll work on "dolls".  I have one started that needs finishing, there's a knit along going on that I'll be starting late (if I start at all), and I wanted to make some cute crochet bunnies for C's girls that I never got around to in March.  Okay, so the pattern names for those don't qualify for Stash Down, but that's fine with me since I'll be making those mittens first.

I pulled out the Save the Stitches piece again yesterday.  I should get the border cross stitches done today, then I just have 4 motifs to finish to get caught up.  Of course, the next 2 blocks will probably be released tomorrow, if they aren't available already.  I will wait until April to start working on them though.  I plan to continue my weekend work on the Siren and the Shipwreck piece in April.  Also in April (provided I get the blocks for Save the Stitches done) I plan to finish up a small project I ran across when digging around in my craft area.  It's a pattern by The Sweetheart Tree, one of the Teenie Tweenies called Spring Fantasy.  Again, something small that should get finished quickly and help keep me motivated.

I visited my local quilt shop yesterday to get some felted wool to use for the Shaker Sewing Set needle book.  Now, I've yet to go in there and buy only what I went there for, so of course I came home with several extra goodies.

First up is this fabulous book!  I've been wanting to try wool applique for quite some time, and have been drooling over all the projects in the Primitive Quilts magazines.  Instead of starting with one of those, I decided to get this book because I can work on this like a block of the month kit.  I will be starting this in April after the applique towels and one other project are finished.  Each month I will make one of the ten squares.  I can get the felted wool each month from the local quilt shop, but I think I might order the cotton fabric from Keepsake Quilting.  They have some great Civil War reproduction fabrics that I think will look great for this quilt.

Also picked up a kit to make the cutest little bag.  Making this is next in line after the quilt block.  I think I have hardware and zippers enough to make a couple more of these.  Each one uses just 2 fat quarters, a bit of batting, some interfacing, a zipper, and a D ring and lobster claw clasp.  Oh, and a few buttons for embellishment.  I think these would make great gifts and nice swap additions.

That one other project I mentioned earlier is the April wall quilt.  I've had the pattern for these monthly quilts for about 2 years now, and in December I discovered that the quilt shop here sells fabric packs for them.  So much easier than digging around in my stash for the right fabrics.  I bought the January pack back in December, but never made it.  I even have a spot picked out to hang these, but I need to get them done.  I've decided that I am going to make at least one of these each month.  I will do them as machine applique like the pattern suggests to make them go quicker, and I will use these to practice my machine quilting.  Scary!!

Okay, so now that I've made my list of a bazillion things to work on in April, I'd better get busy and finish up my March projects :-)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Day of Triples

Okay, so I've gotten back into the groove of getting my puffs done daily, and hopefully this will get me back into the groove of blogging daily.

3 puffs for yesterday :-)

It appears as though I was on a 3 kick yesterday.  I made 3 flower dishcloths, that will be sent off as a gift for a friend.  Got most of these done while Skyping with a friend yesterday afternoon.  I've never done that before, but it was a lot of fun.  It felt almost like we were sitting at a Starbucks, or Barnes & Noble, like we used to before I moved to Wisconsin.  We'll definitely be doing that again!

I had another ball of Peaches & Creme, so worked up 3 more dishcloths while watching TV last night.  Whittled down a bit more of my cotton stash, and now I'm all set for more gift giving or swaps.

Paul has been telling me since Friday that he got me something for my birthday, but it was still in transit.  Well, the box arrived yesterday and I saw where it was from and couldn't wait for him to get home to open it.  He got me the Cherry Shaker Sewing Basket from Sudberry House!!  I've been trying to save up for this for some time now, but I always see something else that I need (want) and spend my craft allowance on that.  Yes, I put myself on a craft allowance, because if I didn't, I'd be happily crafting away in a house filled to bursting with craft supplies, and none of the bills would be paid.  Hey, at least I know what my issues are lol.

I pulled out the Shaker sewing set sampler that I completed earlier this year and Paul helped me get it mounted in the box lid.  I love this!  I've already loaded the box up with supplies I need for my crafting and have a little spot for it to sit on a side table in the living room.  Now it's useful and decorative!  I checked my sewing set savings balance and discovered that I had enough saved up for the pincushion box, so got that ordered yesterday.  Soon I will have the whole set completed!  Now I just need to get my butt in gear and put the scissor fob together, and visit the quilt shop to get some felted wool so I can finish the needle book.

Also yesterday, I started an applique dish towel for a friend.  Applique ironed on, now I just need to do some stitching around the edges.  I think I'm going to do this by machine instead of by hand.  I'd like to get this done so it can be shipped off.  I know it wouldn't take long to do by hand, but I can get it done faster by machine, and I really need to be working on other things right now.

I mentioned yesterday that I had spread myself a bit too thin craftwise and wasn't getting anything done.  Oh, I am making progress.  Lots of progress.  On lots of projects.  Which translates into all of my projects strewn about the dining room waiting for their turn to be worked on.  So basically, a cluttered house and no finished projects lol!  I am going back to what I intended at the beginning of the year.  It got a bit out of whack as is par for the course with me since I tend to take on too much always.  For the rest of this month, my projects will be .....

Stitching - applique dish towel
If that gets done (and it should be this afternoon), then I will work on the Save the Stitches piece.

Knit/Crochet - Chrysantemum Mittens
If they get done (a bit iffy, but still doable), then I will work on the Cat Cocoon.

I've moved all other projects to storage to await their turn to be worked on.  I need to get past this crazy need to have all my projects completed NOW.  There is plenty of time to work on each one of them.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Catch Up!

Here they are!  Puffs made for Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.  Which is which?  I don't know.  I don't care.  I'm caught up!  Woohoo, no more stressing over having more than 3 puffs to make in a day!  Now if I can only stay caught up until the end of the month.

I think I'm going to reduce my daily puff quota to 2 in April.  Make 2 puffs per day, and sew 5 together.  All of March I've felt like I'm working my little behind off, but nothing is getting done.  I've spread myself a bit too thin craftwise.  With that in mind, I need to get back to setting goals, and sticking to them.

Yeah right.  I say that right after having started yet another project lol!  This didn't photograph very well because my tracing is fairly light, but behold the Secret Garden embroidery project I've been drooling over since it was started on

I'll be taking my sweet time with this one as it's a learning project.  I started on some of the vines last night.  They sure do look wobbly to me.  Hoping they look better as I add the next rows of stem stitch to shades these thick vines.  You'll be seeing more of this soon I'm sure.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Busy Few Days

Yikes!  This is the first I've missed a day of blogging (or 2 as the case may be) in over a month!  Oh well, it's been a busy few days and I'm allowed :-)

First off we have puffs!  Lots of puffs.

Puffs made Tuesday that would have been featured on Wednesday's blog post if I had actually blogged on Wednesday like I intended.

Puffs made Wednesday that would have been featured on Thursday's blog post if I had actually blogged on Thursday like I intended.

Puffs made yesterday that would have been featured on today's blog post if I had actually .... oh wait, I AM blogging today :-)

Next up we have another robot square, completed Tuesday night.  I started another on Wednesday, but haven't finished it yet.  Maybe tonight?

Wednesday I drove to the Chicago area to visit with Amanda, who was there with her hubby for the week.  He was there for a work training session.  How fabulous is it that he is training so close to me so we will get to see each other when he's here?  It was a great day!  So nice to see Amanda again.  We crafted a bit in her hotel room, then went to Cheesecake Factory for lunch.  Unfortunately, we didn't get much crafting done because we were too busy gabbing lol.  Long drive, but so worth it!

When I got home, I had a box waiting for me from her.  She shipped it before she realized how close she was going to be.  Inside were my birthday gifts from her and her daughter, Brandi.

Look how cute the flounder tape measure is!  I love him!  And the little notion case!  You can never have too many organizational tools I say.  This will stay in my craft bag.

There was also this adorable project bag.  It's actually red, but I didn't have natural light and the flash turned it bright fuschia!  The embroidered lambs are so cute.

Be still my heart!  What a beautiful little shawlette!  This will go with so many of my tops.

And, Brandi made me the most adorable bunny slippers!  She left them a bit on the big side so I can felt them to my size.  I was going to do that yesterday, but never got around to it.  Might have to wait until Monday because I'll be running all weekend.

Hope to get back on a daily blogging schedule soon :-)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Chicago, Here I Come

3 more regular puffs today.  Tonight I think I'll work on a couple of duplicate stitch ones.

Yesterday I worked a bit more on the Save the Stitches piece.  Since I had no adverse reactions to stitching over the weekend, I think I can add it back into my crafting routine.  Just need to take it a bit easy on it until I'm sure it won't make my neck and that pinched nerve flare up again.

Also worked some on the Chrysanthemum mitten.  Got through the thumb gusset and those stitches are now on waste yarn.  Might get some more done on this tonight if I get my puffs done.  I spent the day today cleaning out closets and tidying up the spare bedroom so haven't gotten any crafting done yet.

Stayed up a bit late last night and finished another robot square.

Tomorrow I'm heading to Chicago to visit with my bff Amanda, who's there this week tagging along with her hubby (who's there for work this week).  She called me today and I was so excited when she told me how close she was!  I'm trying to decide between taking puffs to work on or the robo-blanky.  Maybe I'll take a little of both.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Anyone have fun plans for St. Patty's Day?  My day so far has consisted of removing everything that I possibly can from the bathroom and scrubbing the room down, top to bottom, with a nice bleach solution.  The sun is shining through the window, even though it hasn't been cleaned yet, and the tiles are sparkling from being scrubbed clean then buffed with a dry cloth.  Now if I can only get the tub to shine like that!  Anyone have tips for making old porcelain look nice?

This weekend, before the spring cleaning bug hit me full force, I worked on the Siren and the Shipwreck piece and completed the chandelier.  I think there are more beads on this thing than there are cross stitches!  See all those missed stitches in her tail?  Well, those are beads too.  Next weekend will be dedicated to finishing the last little bit of cross stitching on page 1, finishing the backstitching on page 1, and hopefully finishing the beading on page 1.  Then I get to move on to page 2, which is the bottom of her tail.

Yesterday I worked up a couple more duplicate stitch puffs, and printed off patterns for several more.  These are really a lot of fun!  At some point this week, I'm going to have to start sewing some of these puffs together.  I'm still not sure if I'm going to only attach them at the corners, like the pattern indicates, or if I'm going to sew each side completely corner to corner.

Finished up the base of the first robot square.  There is a lot of detail work that gets done to these, but I think I might wait until after they are all crocheted to work on that.  Next up, another robot like this one, only in red this time.

Also worked on the second Chrysanthemum mitten this weekend.  The cuff is complete and I'm ready to get the stem and leaves put on this one.  Will probably work on this tonight while watching The Voice.  If I get my puffs finished early enough that is.

Okay, break over.  Back to the bathroom I go!

Sunday, March 16, 2014


A few more regular puffs.  Today I am working on a couple more duplicate stitch ones.

Last night I started the Robo-blanky that I'm making for C.  She's expecting her third little one this summer and this time it's a boy.  This little blanket will take him well through infancy and toddlerhood.  It's working up pretty quickly so far.  There are 12 blocks and I'm pretty sure that I can fit 1 in every 2 days or so, so this should be done by end of April.  Plenty of time left to make a couple gifties for the girls before needing to send this off.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Spring is Finally Springing

Back to some regular puffs for the next couple of days.  I was asked where I was getting the charts for the duplicate stitch puffs.  I found them all on Ravelry.  If you have an account there, you can get all the charts I'm using in the Tiny Owl Knits Group, on the Beekeeper's Quilt *one stop* Charts & Tips Thread.  There are 76 pages in that thread right now, and I've only done charts on page 1 so far.  There are still 2 more charts to go to finish that page and I hope to have them done tomorrow.

I started working on the second mitten last night.  Didn't get very far though, because some of my regular evening crafting time was taken up running to Janesville to get my rings, which were being sized.  Second trip there in two days and I won't be using that store again, but that's another story.

Yesterday the weather here got really nice.  The sun was shining through the windows of my enclosed porch and it was so nice and toasty in there, I spent some time sitting out there crafting and listening to a book.  The weather turn has given me an urge to clean my house top to bottom.  Stocked up on cleaning supplies today, and will get started on my spring cleaning on Monday.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Little Woodland Critters

Finished the first Chrysanthemum mitten last night, except for the thumb, which I probably won't add until I finish the second one.  I was originally going to add it this weekend, but I think I'd rather work on the less fiddly cuff tonight instead.

I've mentioned the new embroidery project I want to start, but I haven't shown a photo of it yet.  This is the page freshly cut out of the coloring book and ready for Paul to take to work to reduce for me.  This isn't the clearest of photos.  It just didn't want to be sharp and clear at this size, but I'm sure you get the idea what it will look like.  According to USPS tracking, my fabric is out for delivery today and I'm getting really excited about this project.  I still don't have everything I need to start working on it, but gathering supplies is sometimes enough to curb the desire to start something new.

More little critters on puffs today.  An owl, a fox, and a hedgehog ... sounds like the beginning of a really bad joke doesn't it?

I think I'll limit myself to one duplicate stitch puff per day, as these take longer then the other ones.  I haven't gotten anything accomplished yet today because I was trying to finish these little guys before blogging.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Butterflies and Bees

Yesterday I completed 3 duplicate stitch puffs.  There's a super long thread over at the Tiny Owl Knits group on Ravelry dedicated to patterns for these, and ideas for stuffing, sewing together the quilt, etc.  I'll be taking advantage of the duplicate stitch patterns on that thread.  I have 3 more patterns lined up for today.  I'm thinking if I do enough of these, I won't have to purchase any more yarn for the blanket like I thought I was going to have to.  I have plenty of this Palette yarn to make dozens upon dozens of puffs.

Getting close to finishing that first Chrysanthemum mitten.  If I get my puffs done early enough today, I might get this one finished tonight.  If not, tomorrow it is.  I'd like to have done, including the thumb, this weekend, so I have plenty of time to finish the second one before the month is done.

 I had 2 other projects lined up for March, but I'm not sure I'll get them done.  I will start on the Cat Cocoon this weekend though, because I really want to make that for Digit.  The other project, Crochet Spring Bunny, will probably be held over until April.  I have mittens that I want to make next month too, but I think I'm going to dub April "Doll Month" and concentrate of completing several knit/crochet dolls that are either already in works, or lined up in the queue.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Puffs and Pillows

Just a few puffs for today.  I think taking a break from the stitching is helping my neck.  Not as much pain today.  Of course, I'm sure it also helps that all I did yesterday was these three puffs and I didn't work on any other projects.  So far today I've made 2 puffs.  I've printed some duplicate stitch patterns and will add those tonight while watching tv.  Also went and got myself a new pillow today.  I'm a side sleeper, and my current pillow isn't giving me the support I need for my neck.  I've tried sleeping on my back, but I just can't do it.  Hopefully tomorrow I will feel back to my old self.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

What a Pain in the Neck

My daily puffs.  I'll be doing some work on sewing these together and/or making some of the intarsia puffs over the next few days.  My neck has been bothering me quite a bit and holding an embroidery hoop under my magnifying lamp makes it worse.  I need to tone down the embroidery for a couple days to see if I can get it to calm down.  I also think I need a new pillow.  I've been sitting today with an ice pack on my neck and making puffs.  Knitting something simple does not seem to aggravate my neck, so puffs it is for the next couple of days.

I did get some work done yesterday on the Save the Stitches piece.  Another filler pattern done, and the last one for this month started.  Even with leaving the stitching alone for a few days, I will get this done with plenty of time to spare in March.

Also worked a few more rounds on the Chrysanthemum mitten.  I'm hoping that the next couple of days spent concentrating on knitting will get me excited about these again.  I've just felt a bit ho hum about my knitting projects lately.

This past weekend I bought one of those rebound trampolines, thinking it looked like a fun way to get some cardio into my day (read that as help me lose about 25 lbs).  Tried it out yesterday and boy is it harder than it looks!  I could only jump on it for about 10 minutes before my calves felt like they were on fire and I had to quit.  I've found some basic workout videos on YouTube and I'm hoping that I can do a bit more jumping each time I try.  Even if I could only do a few minutes, it's fun, and at least it's more exercise than I was getting before, as evidenced by the fact that I can stand to lose about 25 lbs lol.