Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Another Cold and Further Progress

Goodness but it's been a sick winter for us... both of us had bad colds again last week and pretty much hibernated all weekend. We watched some Cadfael DVDs and a couple of movies and pretty much vegged all weekend. Of course, I did manage to get some work done on Block 7:

(click to embiggen)
This one got done quickly! ;0)

I thought I'd also show you a pic of the entire bottom row of blocks.

I think I've done a pretty good job of getting a good flow through the blocks. The only thing that is a little jarring is that center portion of the center block... don't know what I was thinking but I'll fix it with a few well placed buttons! ;0) My next block is the one up above the bottom row on the right hand side. It's pretty much all black, too, so I'll keep the same flow going through the black blocks.

I've been thinking about the sky blocks, and I think I'm going to do them with really simple seam treatments, but using lots of silver and pearl metallic threads to represent the moonbeams. Probably mostly feather stitching with a few others thrown in for good measure. I want the sky to not really grab your eye, but just kinda be there with some sparkles in it to represent stars that are noticed after a few minutes. I'll probably also include some pale swarovski crystals as well as some vintage crystals from necklaces. I can't wait to get started on the embellishing!!! Gah!!! LOL!

Thanks for the comments on the office area... it's working so well and feels so good when I walk into the livingroom. Susan, we didn't take out any of the arch, the office picture is just taken a little bit closer to the end of the room. There was about 5' of room between the window wall and the arch so the desks kind of protrude a bit past the arch; however, since we have a big chair (mine) there it isn't a problem. Next is purchasing a couch, loveseat and chair (or something similar) for the livingroom. My chair is about 8 years old and has taken a beating and our couch is a second hand couch... it's a Dunbar so it's good; however, it sits too low for us and our knees are starting to complain! Time to upgrade on all counts!

Ta for now!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Midsummer, TIF and Settling In

Evening ladies... hope all is well in your world. My world has been rather busy, with not much going on in the way of stitching; however, I have done this:
Eskimo edging stitch
This is a variation on Elizabeth's Eskimo edging stitch. I really like this stitch and decided to play around with it on Block 7. Here it is in situ:
Block 7 - partial
The gray #8 perle cotton is the eskimo edging stitch and the white #12 perle cotton is just plain old straight stitch. I really like how it turned out and am tickled that it worked!

On the Take It Further Challenge front, I have reluctantly decided to bow out of the challenge in order to get some work done on my Midsummer CQ. Since I work full time, I just don't have copious amounts of spare time to devote to creative pursuits, hence the decision. I was really bummed about it this weekend, but have since realized it's for the best. When I told Glenn I thought I had bitten off more than I could chew in doing both the Midsummer CQ and the challenge, he said with a smile, "You always do." It's so true... I always try to do too much and then end up not doing either one well enough. Gosh, do ya' think I might be actually learning some things about myself? ;0) Anyway, I'll be watching everyone else and storing away ideas, concepts and techniques for future use, never fear! I will be finishing the luna moth, though... I just needed to get back to the Midsummer CQ after I made my decision; I think I needed to make sure I made the right choice!

Here's a peek at the office area after our trip to Ikea this weekend. We picked up some bookshelves to finish it off. We still didn't have room for all the books so I did some judicious and ruthless culling of my garden books (I had lots) and managed to fit everything in. There are still some minor touches, such as artwork or quilts on the wall and painting (maybe) later this spring, but it's coming together quite well, I think.

Here's the left side:
Left side
moving around to the right:
Desks 1
and then to the end of the room.
Both Desks
As a reminder, here's what it looked like when we bought it:
Window seat
It works much better for us this way, me likey!

Thanks for all your comments on the last post... it's nice to know I'm not boring! ;0) See ya' in a few!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Another busy weekend has passed but I did manage to get some stitching done. When I first started the embroidery on the luna moth (from January's TIF Challenge), I decided to use variegated thread for the veins in the wings. I'm not sure if that was the right decision. I think a single, soft green strand of floss would have given it a more delicate feel; however, it is looking better since I added the purple trim.
Right wing partial
The purple trim is done with 3 strands of silk floss laid very close together. Rather labor intensive, I must say... I'm going to try and get the other wing in the same shape before this weekend. It's really starting to look like a luna moth!

I have been fascinated by luna moths since I was a kid. When I was young, I read "Girl of the Limberlost" by Gene Stratton Porter, in which luna moths are featured, and it just built from there. When we lived in Louisiana, I found two (at two different times) amongst the pine trees on Fort Polk. The second one had just come out of its chrysalis and I spent quite some time on a morning in June holding it while its wings expanded. It was very cool. Love 'em!

That's all for now. I think I need to up my creative time so I get more done. These posts are getting shorter and shorter and more and more boring. Hope to be back soon!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Reading, Yard Work and TIF Challenge

There hasn't been alot of stitching going on around here, I'm afraid. I have been sucked down into Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series... again. I just love these books and for some reason I needed to read them right now! I'm on the fifth one, it's only the second time I've read it, so I'm discovering a few things I missed in my haste to find out what happened... ;0)

Anyhoo... that's one reason the stitching hasn't been happening like it should.

Another reason is the hours and hours we spent this past weekend turning this:
Concrete slab full
(Click to embiggen!)

into this:
Concrete slab not so full

Whew! That pile of brush has been sitting out there for way too long! Those white posts you see are the remnants of a picket fence that used to run along the edge of that concrete slab. We took the fence out but haven't yet filled in the holes where the fence posts were, so Glenn just dropped the fence posts back into the holes so I absent-mindedly don't stumble into them. It happens all the time and he has gotten very good at making sure I'm aware of holes and dips in the ground! Filling those holes is on this weekend's agenda as the gardening centers are loading up with bags of soil we can use to level things out.

We also turned this:
West wall full

into this:
West wall not so full

Still have to get the grass out, but that will come. We're going to train the bougainvillea (those sticks along the wall) to grow horizontally along the wall and they should bloom well that way. This week is bulk trash pickup for our area of Phoenix and we needed to get it out and placed along the alley in nice neat piles, ready to be wisked away. There's still junk over there (including a strange built-in entertainment center that was in our bedroom when we moved in!) but it will have to wait till the next pick up. We're out of room... see? ;0)

Alley full

I've been thinking about the February Take It Further Challenge, "What am I old enough to remember?" Hmmmm... my earliest memory is the clacking of Uncle Hans' false teeth as he ate dinner with us... I was maybe two or three. Not a very good subject for a quilt though, is it? ;0) I was a loner (still am) and spent most of my time buried in books or riding ponies but I did come up with a few memories.

- I remember the white shapes of winter trees covered in hoar frost. Their ghostly branches nearly met over top of the car as we drove from Hartstown, Pennesylvania to Youngstown, Ohio for Christmas. I was little so as I looked up out of the car window all I saw was those branches... they are etched into my mind even now.

- I remember the winter we spent in an old Colorado farmhouse with no heat except the wood stove in the kitchen. We would jump out of bed and go flying downstairs and huddle around the wood stove to stay warm. Brrrrr!

- I remember not being allowed to wear pants to school... girls were only allowed to wear dresses and it was sooooo cold in the winter!

- I remember the day John F. Kennedy was shot, Nov 22nd, 1963... I was in Mr. Kenagy's 6th grade class at Big Thompson school just outside of Loveland, Colorado. I can remember his face as he rushed in the door to let everyone know.

- I remember a cross country drive with my family where it seemed every other song played by the radio stations along the way was "That's Life" by Frank Sinatra. That song came out in 1966... we were probably making a flying trip to Ohio for Christmas.

- I remember my mother darning socks with a darning egg. She taught me how to do it and it was probably my first introduction to needlework.

- I remember learning to iron by ironing my fathers big white hankies.

- I remember watching Sky King, Cheyenne, Sugarfoot, Maverick, Wagon Train, The Rifleman (I had such a crush on Johnny Crawford!) and many more. Westerns were king and we loved them!!

- I remember when we got our first color TV. Such excitement!!!!! ;0)

There are several ideas for quilts in there, aren't there? Ghostly branches, Frank Sinatra and early TV westerns... quite an eclectic group! But I like the colors Sharon chose also.... decisions, decisions!!!

I should have progress on the Luna Moth and a decision about February's piece in a few days... see yaz!!