Saturday, July 26, 2014

Still alive and sweatin' through the summer!

Hello people and may I say a big THANK YOU for all you nice followers that haven't dropped me off your blog lists!  I haven't had much time for blogging this year and I had such good intentions.  It's been a pretty crazy year around the WillowTreeStitcher household so far and things aren't looking up either.  My father-in-law is 86 and it got to be time for him to move to a facility where he could get some help due to health and aging issues over the last 4 months.  My husband and I found a nice assisted-care facility for him in the same retirement community where he's lived for 15 years.  He's adjusting well and doing a lot better.  The good food, exercise program, activities and medical help he gets onsite have made a big difference.  Meanwhile we're spending every week-end  clearing out his house to get it ready to sell, getting his car and other possessions sold and taking care of his financial affairs for him.  It's been a hectic time.  Clearing out and sorting through someone else's home really makes you take a good look at your own house and things you should get rid of!  Husband and I aren't hoarders but you sure do accumulate a lot of 'stuff' over the years. My craft room alone would probably make a few people faint not because it's messy but just the sheer volume of it all!

Meanwhile, my job continues to be very demanding and requiring me to do business travel about once a month which eats into my time. I hope to be retired in a couple years and really looking forward to a slower pace and more time for stitching, quilting, and whatever else I want to do.  I certainly will never be bored!   Meanwhile I stitch whenever I can grab the time whether it's 15 minutes or an hour here or there. 

I finished up Blackbird Designs "In Full Glory".  This was a fun little stitch but took a bit longer than I thought it would - there's more stitching in this than you would think.  I have a lot of pinkeeps/pincushions already so I went diving into my quilting fabric stash and made it into a little mini-quilt to hang on a wire stand I had. (the stand is from Ackfeld Manufacturing)   I found the perfect fabrics in my stash and the little motifs on the blue fabric look like fireworks to me.  I like to leave my patriotic things out from Memorial Day to Labor Day so will still enjoy this one until September. 

Progress continues on CCN's Frosty Forest.  I'm starting to see people out in Blogland and Facebook who have finished the whole series since the last pattern just came out. I only started this project in May but feel like I'm making good progress and I'm having fun stitching it.  I stole an idea from another stitcher who posted in one of the LHN-CCN groups and I'm adding a border to mine.  I took a pine motif from an LHN chart called "Pinetop Lodge" and modified and expanded it to fit my piece.  Maybe when I'm done I'll sprinkle some 'snow' in the border as well.   Here's a few photos of what I've done so far....I think the block with the two young deer is my favorite so far - they're just so CUTE!  Since I took this photo I've started on block 6.

Once I got that BBD piece done I rewarded myself with a new start naturally!   I've had "Emblem of Love" by With My Needle kitted up for a couple years already.  My start seemed like it was cursed though. I had kitted it up with a beautiful piece of 40-ct Lakeside Linen's Vintage Light Exemplar and a silk conversion I got from my local shop. When I started stitching the fabric just wasn't working for me.  It was a little too orange-y or something.  So I started over on a piece of 40-ct mystery linen from my stash.  I got the first Quaker medallion done but wasn't happy with it - the thread colors seemed too dull.   Back to the square one again...I ripped it out and did my own conversion to silks (it's charted for DMC and overdyed floss) and started a THIRD time.  Thank goodness I'm finally happy with my choices.  The thing I like about Quaker samplers is you get little happy-dance moments each time you finish a medallion LOL.  Here's a shot straight from the Q-snaps.......

A bit of finishing work to share.....this little pinkeep was stitched by a friend and I did the finishing. We both think it turned out cute!  I just happened to have a piece of purple fabric in my fabric stash that matched it perfectly.   I forget who the designer is on this piece...maybe BBD but I'm not sure.
I picked up a couple Halloween charts a month ago when The Strawberry Sampler had a sale.   I just couldn't resist.   Aren't these fabulous?!  Can't wait to start on them.
On a sad note....our beloved dog Buster was diagnosed with prostate cancer this week.  He's 11 and the outlook they gave us is poor.  We are absolutely crushed and heartbroken of course....I know so many of you are pet owners and will understand the pain we feel.   We plan to make the most of whatever time left that we are blessed with...they couldn't predict any timeframe for us.  He's always been such a lively dog and still acts the same so it's hard to believe he really is sick inside. 
Thank you for coming in to visit for a few moments, I really appreciate each and every one of you who stops by.
Our beloved Buster